Students of public universities, who have been at home for eight months following the ongoing strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, and their parents were hopeful on Thursday as they await the outcome of the National Executive Council meeting of the union.
The meeting was said to have started late on Thursday at the union’s headquarters at the University of Abuja.
The NEC meeting comes on the heels of the union’s meetings with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and the ruling of the National Industrial Court and the appellate court which ordered the lecturers back to work.
The union, on February 14, commenced the ongoing strike to protest the non-implementation of the 2009 Memorandum of Understanding reached with it by the Federal Government.
Speaking with our correspondent in Abuja on Thursday, the National Publicity Secretary of the National Parents Teachers Association, Dr Ademola Ekundayo, said, “As parents, we have discovered that both ASUU and the government are not sincere, and we have planned out what we are going to do.
“Whatever happens today will not surprise us, but I expect them to obey the court order.”
The National Association of Nigerian Students through its South-West zonal coordinator, Emmanuel Olatunji, also expressed hope for an end to the strike.
Olatunji said, “There is a green light as most institutions have concluded on suspending the strike, although there is NEC meeting for the final decision. I am happy because we will all be resuming and at the same time not happy because we are all going back to suffering and a hike in all fees in our institutions.
“Most schools are already hiking tuition fees despite the poor standard of education, poor funding, no amenities, poor laboratories, poor incentives and salary for our lecturers, which in turn affect students.
“I believe we haven’t achieved anything and we should be preparing for another strike in months or years to come as we have been experiencing before, and will still be based on the current agitation as it has not been met by the Federal Government.”