By Peter Duru, Makurdi
A group, the Campaign for Equal Rights and Opportunities for all Nigerians, CERON, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his personal initiative to end the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, by summoning a meeting of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities.
The group urged the President to consolidate the move by equally summoning a meeting of ASUU leadership for a heart-to-heart talk that would convince the striking lecturers to call off their action.
It would be recalled that President Buhari had held a meeting with Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities at the end of which he promised to hold further consultations with relevant stakeholders towards ending the protracted strike.
Commending the President for the initiative, the Secretary of CERON, Mr. Francis Odiir in a statement weekend in Makurdi said the personal intervention of the President was a signal that an end to the dispute was in sight.
Mr. Odiir said “we must commend the President for summoning the meeting with Pro-Chancellors and we appeal to him to consolidate that initiative by also calling the leadership of ASUU to a round table talk where honest and heart-to-heart talks would be held to end the strike.
“The then President Goodluck Jonathan adopted the same strategy to end a similar dispute in 2013 after a marathon meeting where all parties came to the table with sincerity of purpose and determination to end the dispute.
At the end of it, the action was called off because the man on whose table the buck stopped came in personally to give his words. That is what we want the President to do at this point, as a follow up to his meeting with the Pro-Chancellors.
“Already that meeting with Pro-Chancellors has generated postive reactions and given Nigerians hope that an end to the dispute could be in sight. The President must realize that the lingering strike is already painting a terrible image of his government and it is left for him to correct that impression and redeem the image of his government by doing everything to convince the aggrieved lecturers to call off the action.”