Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), in Benue State University, Makurdi has called off their five month old strike action. The union has been on strike since March 9th 2015 when then Governor, Gabriel Suswam failed to pay their February salaries.
Speaking after their congress meeting today, Chairman of the union, Dr David Ikoni said the lecturers were satisfied with the commitment of the government as conveyed in an agreement.
“We have agreed on certain terms with the Governor so we have given him the benefit of doubt”
“Our suspension of this strike was on personal recognition of the Governor and his appeal and he has given us a commitment and we feel that we’ll give him a benefit of doubt.” He said.
He added that this was just a suspension and the lectures will not hesitate to down tools if the Governor failed to keep his promise.
“So when the time comes and he reneged on the promise, we’ll know what to do.” He concluded.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Mrs Charity Angya, last week hinted an end to the strike, saying the Governor, Dr Samuel Ortom was doing everything to ensure that the institution reopened for students to continue their academic pursuits.
“The Governor sent people here. We were here yesterday till about 4pm. We rose from here to government house. We were there till night before I left, I didn’t eat anything.”
“We were there all this time because Governor was trying to see how he can pacify ASUU. He has gone ahead to enter into an agreement with ASUU; an agreement that is so unrealistic but what do you do?”
“The good news on this side, is that, what Governor talked with ASUU yesterday and their meeting on Monday, I believe that that will end this strike. Because he made whatever commitment they wanted.”
“Truth is that the government is trying everything. They have come to an agreement and the union too said they will give them time, set out timelines as to when they will honour whatever they have agreed and they are going back on Monday to talk so that the school will be reopened. For me, I believe it, I’ve been praying, I’ve been fasting.” she said.
It is believed that by reopening before the end of this month, the university may have averted cancellation of the academic session