The Federal Government has reportedly issued a marching order to Vice Chancellors of public universities across the country to reopen the institutions and order students back to classrooms.
This is even as government reportedly told the universities henchmen to register lecturers and members of ASUU who are ready to work once they reopen the universities for academic activities.
CAMPUS GIST reports that the Academic Staff Union of Universities has been on strike since February 14 over failure of government to meet demands, and the action has seen public universities shut for six months now.
Sources say only lecturers who show readiness to work and show up for such registrations by the VCs will be paid salaries, while those who choose to remain on strike would be unpaid.
Efforts to confirm if such an order indeed exist proved abortive, as spokesperson for the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU), could not be reached for comment. But CAMPUS GIST recalls that the VCs had recently urged President Muhammadu Buhari to end strike in the nation’s ivory towers.
Meanwhile, the National Executive Council (NEC) of the striking university lecturers will Sunday night/Monday morning meet to decide on whether the union would continue its over six months strike or not.
Other university-based unions namely the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions, NASU and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, have suspended their strike for a few months to allow the federal government look into their demands.
A member of ASUU NEC, who is also a Zonal Chairman of the union told newsmen that the striking lecturers are ready for whatever steps the government takes on the issue.
“We are no strangers to government threatening to ban our union,” the aggrieved lecturer was quoted by Sunday Vanguard as saying.
“It happened a number of times during the military period and we outlived those regimes. We are fighting a just cause. If the education sector in the country becomes better, we will all benefit. The people in government are not bothered with what happens to the sector because their children are not schooling here.
“I would not say this is what our decision will be because we have to collate opinions from our various branches that conducted congresses some days ago and whatever the majority says will be done. If the majority opinion goes for a continuation of the strike and the government takes any step, we will react appropriately,” he said.