On University Strikes, Government is Ready for Business

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By Garba Shehu

The outcome of the meeting held by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to end the agitations by university unions ought to be beyond spin-doctoring and conjectures. It is a pity that almost all media houses allowed themselves to be deceived by interested sources that are not the authorized spokesmen of government.
Neither during nor after the meeting was any ultimatum given to the Minister of Education. During the meeting, the Minister of Education requested that the Minister of Labour hands off the negotiation to allow him lead and conclude what he had earlier on started with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). And he promised that he could get an agreement within the shortest possible time, possibly two to three weeks.

In carrying out this assignment, the Minister will carry along all relevant ministries and agencies with statutory functions and duties relating to the issues involved.

The Presidency is optimistic that agreements can be reached in an even shorter period if all parties/stakeholders are not unrealistically obstinate. We appeal to the parties to work together to end the strikes.

On the part of the administration, all doors remain open for dialogue and the resolution of the issues.

We appeal to the media not try to spread misinformation. The orchestrated media narratives seeking to present an entirely different picture, attributed to sources, in the last 24 hours are not helpful at all.

Shehu is the Senior special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity