FG, ASUU Set For Fresh Talks

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Akin Akande, Abuja

Still looking for way out to the protracted strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Federal Government may have settled for another round of truce meeting with the leadership of the Union, whose members have been on an indefinite strike since July 2, 2013.

This, it was gathered, followed a closed-door meeting between the Supervisory Minister of Education Nyeson Wike and officials of ASUU led by its President, Nasir Fagge in Abuja on Tuesday.

Although journalists were ordered out of the meeting between the Minister and ASUU leaders, it was learnt that the both sides were seeking way forward on the industrial dispute.

Prior to Tuesday’s meeting with ASUU, Wike had earlier met with Vice Chancellors of all the public universities affected by the strike, late Monday evening at the Headquarters’ of the National Universities Commission.

He did not, however, disclose reasons for the meeting but sources said the meeting might not be unconnected with the protracted strike by the university lecturers and strategies open to government to avoid future occurrence.

The meeting, which began around 10am and lasted for less than three hours saw members of the academic union emerging from the meeting with smiles, an indication of revival of relationship between the union and the Federal Government.

Wike, who personally saw the officials off to their car, was also beaming with smiles.

He also declined to comment on the outcome of the meeting as at the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, the University of Abuja chapter of ASUU, led by Clement Chup plans to stage a peaceful protest on Wednesday, at the Gwagwalada Campus of the university in continuation of the strike.

ASUU had previously accused the Federal Government of deploying propaganda to compel the union to call off its strike.