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Strike: Senate will intervene in FG, ASUU face-off, says Lawan

Ahmed Lawan has disclosed that the senate will intervene in the lingering dispute between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

This was contained in a statement signed on Tuesday by Ola Awoniyi, special adviser on media matters to the senate president.

According to the statement, both parties will be brought back to the negotiation table.

Lawan was addressing officials of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) who were led to his office by Sunday Ndukwo Onuoha, a methodist bishop.

Sunday Asefon, NANS president, who spoke for his colleagues, lamented the disruption of academic programmes.

He urged the senate president to intervene in the dispute between the government and the university lecturers.

Responding, the senate president expressed unhappiness about the turn of events.

Lawan recalled that the senate had intervened in the past before everything broke down again.

He promised that the senate would wade in again and expressed optimism that the issues would soon be resolved.

“You are in the right place. We are going to intervene. We will make concerted and sustained efforts to bring back ASUU and the Federal government to the negotiating table,” Lawan said.

“But I want to appeal to you too since we are going to make effort to bring back everybody to the negotiating table, you should give us a chance to do that believing that we are going to find a solution.

“It is not only enough to bring them back to the negotiating table, but we will participate and I want to make sure that we find the solution when we start the negotiation again.

“Now that you have come here, we are going to make sure that everybody in this sector especially those in the public sector who have responsibility and mandate performs their functions. We will make sure they do that.”

Responding to threats by the students to disrupt political activities, Lawan appealed to them to avoid confrontation.

“I want to also advise, that I don’t think it will be necessary to disrupt political activities. We shouldn’t do that and we don’t need to do that,” the senate president added.

“What we need to do is to continue to follow the path of consultation and consolidation, and avoid confrontation.

“It is an opportunity for me also to appeal to ASUU to suspend this strike period because there is no way ASUU can negotiate with the Federal government when it is on strike.

“Somebody just wanted ASUU to go back to the classroom and just signed everything there. We must understand that there are things that when we promise we should do, we must do.”

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