#Senate Begs Students Not To Disrupt Election Activities As ASUU, FG Negotiations Resume May 16

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The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has appealed to students through the National Association of Nigerian Students not to disrupt political activities according to the Headlinenews.news reports.

Lawan made this appeal to the NANS President, Sunday Ashefon, alongside other officials of the union who were led to his office by a Methodist Bishop, Dr. Sunday Onuoha on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.

Students had begun to stage protests in different parts of the country threatening to stall all political activities until the Federal Government came to a resolution with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Recall ASUU on Monday, May 8, 2022 extended its rollover strike by 12 weeks to provide enough time for the Federal Government to attend to its demands. Highlight of the union demand is improvement of welfare for its members, revitalisation of public universities and academic autonomy among other demands.

The Senate President while responding to the threat by the students to disrupt political activities, appealed to them to continue on the path of consultation and avoid confrontation.

He said, “I want to advise, I don’t think it will be necessary to disrupt political activities. We shouldn’t do that and we don’t need to do that.

“What we need to do is to continue to follow the path of consultation, consolidation and avoid confrontation. It is when you emphasise consultation, that it’s much easier for us to find something that you can consolidate.”

Lawan also said that the senate was going to work towards ending the strike as soon as possible.

He stated, “Your prayer is that you want the Federal government and ASUU back to negotiate and resolve the issues. We have taken this prayer. We have endorsed it and we will work on it as quickly as possible.

“It is an opportunity for me also to appeal to ASUU to suspend this strike period because there is no way ASUU can negotiate with the Federal Government when it is on strike. So it is an opportunity for us to have them, at least create a window, suspend the strike for a certain period and let us see how far we can go.”

“I want to be very positive that we are going to resolve this issue as soon as possible by the Grace of God,” Lawan said.

Meanwhile, ASUU may meet with the government on May 16, 2022.

According to Headlinenews.news, this was disclosed by the Chairman of the Federal University of Technology, Minna chapter of ASUU, and member of the union’s National Executive Council, Dr. Gbolahan Bolarin, in Abuja.

Bolarin said, “I am aware there will be a meeting coming up next week from May 16 with the government, but we are not aware of any invitation from the Minister of Labour and Employment. Holding a meeting is not the issue, the most important thing is the implementation.

“They will call us for meetings and then say the government does not have the money. When aviation declared strike, they settled it because they are mostly affected. Once our leaders are not affected, they do not care. When bad fuel was imported, they did not really care. Our leaders are not sincere, the day the government becomes sincere, issues will be settled,” he said.

While the ASUU strike lingers, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has also threatened to shutdown academic activities in polytechnics and colleges of technologies after the government couldn’t give positive response to its one month notice of strike which elapsed on May 4, 2022.

The union’s action is also to press home demands which include the release the N15bn revitalisation fund to address the decay in infrastructure in the sector; and payment of the arrears of polytechnic employees following the approval and implementation of new minimum wage.

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