Dr David Ikoni, the Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Benue State University, BSU told BENUE.COM.NG correspondent that calling off the current strike action depended on the government’s proposal to the union.
The Chairman said the union leaders met with the state Governor, Dr Samuel Ortom yesterday and the outcome was positive.
“The union EXCO met with the Governor yesterday and he has promised to address the issue immediately and we asked that he gives us a document to that effect, so the document is being prepared now. Because of the weekend, we hope that we’ll get the document by Monday.”
“If we do, then we’ll call congress to look at the document and then see how we can resolve the differences between us and the government and then call off the strike.” He said.
When asked if the one month salary paid and an agreement by the government to pay the remaining areas subsequently will be enough for the lecturers to come back, Dr Ikoni said, “it does not lie within my powers to do that. That is why I said we will call the congress, but we need something to present to Congress which will represent the proposal from government and that is what we are waiting for”
On the issue of earned allowances, the Chairman said the current strike was only about unpaid salaries but that the issue could cause a another strike in the nearest future if not resolved.
” Recall that the present strike action is just on the issue of salaries. So we did not include anything on earned allowances because that is not part of the reason why we are on strike now. But we have informed him (Governor) that it is a potential problem for another crisis if it’s not addressed and he promised to address the issue.
Dr Ikoni again emphasized the supremacy of the congress in taking the final decision.
“We believe that if the document comes, we’ll call congress who have the final say on what we’ll do. The EXCO, you know, are just standing in for congress members”. He concluded.
BSU lecturers have been on strike since 9th March 2015 over unpaid salaries. This week, the lecturers and indeed, Benue workers have all receive salaries for the month of May with the promise of June salaries after a staff audit.
Students will now pray and hope that the proposed agreement from the state government is convincing enough for the ASUU EXCO and congress.