The Trade Union Congress (TUC), has criticised the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, for walking out on the representatives of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) during a meeting in his office in Abuja.
The Congress also threw its weight behind members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), saying it doesn’t augur well for a public officer rather than listening to the students’ plight and striving to intervene, to just walk out on them.
It would be recalled that the minister, who was visibly angry with the emotive presentation of the National President of NANS, Sunday Asefon, had on Monday Adamu walked out of the meeting.
Reacting to the development in a statement Tuesday night, President of TUC, Quadri Olaleye, threatened that the congress would not hesitate to embark on a solidarity strike with the university teachers and their students if the face-off is not resolved within two weeks.
Olaleye said, “We find it ridiculous that the Minister, a public officer rather than listening to their plight and striving to intervene, walked out. This act in our opinion seems discriminatory of some sorts, amidst finding solutions to resolve the Federal Government – ASUU impasse, which requires to be redressed immediately.
“Mallam Adamu should be reminded that peaceful protest is a fundamental human right, most especially for students whose academic calendar continues to be distorted as a result of the multiple recurring strikes, occasioned by governments non-honouring of agreements.
He continued, “We wish to stress unequivocally that we are together with the University lecturers and their students in this struggle. Everything must be done to dispense with this impasse within two weeks, to avoid a situation where the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria will embark on a solidarity strike with the University Teachers and their Students.
“Government must engage ASUU in constructive negotiations to find a lasting solution to their complaints without further delay.”
Meanwhile, a meeting between representatives of ASUU and the federal government was still ongoing when filing this report.