Posted by News Express | 6 May 2022 | 711 times
Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, on Friday, apologised to the striking public university lecturers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for failing to respond to their demands on time.
The minister appealed to them during a reconciliatory meeting in Abuja organised by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige.
The Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education, Andrew David Adejo who represented his boss at the reconciliatory meeting brokered by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige on Friday told the leadership of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union that the ministry had not abandoned their issues but that circumstances had made it look as such.
The statement read: “We want to let you know that whatever sins the Ministry had committed before should be forgiven. We have repented and we will not sin anymore. We want you to see us as partners in progress.
“It is in that spirit of forgiveness of the just ended Ramadan fast that we feel that we fixed the meeting to discuss and resolve the issues,” Mallam Adamu suggested.
Adejo said, “The minister specifically, “asked me to come and plead for forgiveness. It seems as if your employer, the Ministry of Education has abandoned you, but this is not true, that is not the true picture.
“It is in that spirit of forgiveness that the just-ended Ramadan fast symbolised that we feel that we fixed the meeting to discuss and resolve the issues. As was captured in the communiqué issued at your last meeting with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the social apartheid the present strike is causing is leading to so many other problems such that the earlier we sit down to solve it the better for the country,” he explained.
He added that, “We want to let you know that whatever sins the Ministry had committed before should be forgiven. We have repented and we will not sin anymore. We want you to see us as partners in progress.”
However, a spokesman of the Joint Action Committee of SSANU and NASU, Mr Adeyemi Peters expressed optimism that the apology was genuine and that the Ministry of Education was now ready to fulfill its part of the bargain by implementing the agreement reached with the unions.
“We believe that if the Ministry of Education and other relevant government agencies do their part, the matter will be resolved once and for all,” he added.
While welcoming the parties to the meeting, Ngige expressed optimism that with the presence of the Ministry of Education at the discussion, a lot of progress would be made and the strike called off for the school to reopen.
It will be recalled that ASUU declared a four-week warning on February 14th and renewed the same after its expiration. (Daily Independent)
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