The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ahead of its Friday’s meeting with the Independent National Electoral Commission, has said that its ongoing seven-week strike is in the national interest.
The National President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, who stated this in an interview with The PUNCH in response to the call on the union to call off the strike, said nobody had the monopoly of national interest.
He added that the strike would not be called off until the Federal Government acceded to the lecturers’ demands.
There have been calls on ASUU to end the strike in the interest of the nation and to enable university students and the National Youth Service Corps members to work as ad hoc electoral officers during the February and March general elections.
As a result of the strike, many public universities have not rounded off the 2018/2019 session, thus their final year students have not gone for the NYSC.
The calls for the suspension of the strike became heightened last week when INEC raised the alarm that the face-off between the Federal Government and ASUU constituted a serious threat to the 2019 general elections.
The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, had pleaded with ASUU to suspend the strike in the national interest and for the sake of democracy.
He had in an interview with The PUNCH said the commission had convened a consultative meeting involving its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, national commissioners and ASUU leadership on January 4 (Friday) concerning the ongoing strike.