The leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) will, today, meet with the Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau and its Labour counterpart, Saminu Turaki, as well as the House of Representatives Committee on Education.
Both ministers and the committee have urgently invited ASUP to the crucial meeting separately to forestall the nationwide strike threatened to embark upon by the polytechnic lecturers, and its likely emerging crisis.
ASUP had issued a two-week strike ultimatum which ends tomorrow, and threatened to start strike immediately after the expiration of the ultimatum on Wednesday (tomorrow). The ultimatum ends today.
The union, which has called on government to reverse a directive suspending CONTISS 15 in polytechnics, also called for removal of “autocratic” governing councils in the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, in Anambra State and the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State; and improved funding of polytechnics, amongst other demands.
The union suspended a 10-month strike middle of last year, following assurances by the Federal Government that their demands would be attended to.
President of ASUP, Chibuzor Asomugha, who spoke to reporters in Abuja, on Monday, said even though the union had attended several meetings in the past without any concrete action by government, it was compelled to attend today’s meetings because of its desire to see positive change in the system.
Asomugha said: “Last Friday, the minister of education invited us for a meeting and I think he also invited the councils and management of the two polytechnics but we met at different times and by the time we were meeting, we didn’t have enough time to actually get to the root of the issues. That meeting was rescheduled for tomorrow (today) Tuesday by 10.00 a.m and we hope, it is not just about Oko now. I believe we are going to look at all the issues and then get the perspective of the ministry on them.