The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, has vowed to continue its three months old strike after its meeting with the federal government ended in a deadlock on Tuesday.
Premium Times reports that ASUP’s position was stated by its National Publicity Secretary, Clement Chirman, after a closed-door session of the meeting that lasted for over three hours at the federal secretariat in Abuja.
Prior to the closed-door session, journalists were allowed to observe proceedings of the meeting until it went rowdy; with all parties, including the National Association of Polytechnic Students, NAPS, invited as observers, having a go at one another.
The rowdy state of the meeting began when the NAPS president, Sunday Obonnaya, accused the federal government of neglecting students. Mr. Obonnaya also accused the polytechnic lecturers of using students to pursue their selfish interests.
“The union (ASUP) told us that both the FG and ASUP had met in 2009 for an agreement which the FG had not kept to their own side of the agreement.
“We were also told that the union and the FG had met several times and that 13 demands were made. Out of the 13 demands, only four were picked by the FG to attend to which up until now is not yet attended to,” the student leader said.
At the end of the three-hour closed door session of the meeting, Mr. Chairman said that the federal government said it would pay the arrears in two installments in March and September. He said the union would not accept that and would proceed with the strike.
ASUP has been on strike since October demanding among others, proper funding of polytechnics, and an end to discrimination of polytechnic graduates in the labour market.