The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday said Wale Babalakin-led reconciliation committee cannot mediate between the union and the federal government to end the ongoing strike.
This stance is coming as the union maintained that the first meeting held with the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige has yet to go into substantive issues which led to the strike.
ASUU had declared total and indefinite strike over failure of the Buhari-led federal government to fulfil the content of the Memorandum of Action it signed with the union in 2017 bothering on revitalisation and funding of universities, unpaid accumulated & earned academic allowances, release of University staff pension company license among other issues.
Speaking with newsmen after the congress of the Union, ASUU chairman, University of Ibadan, Dr. Deji Omole said ASUU members will not allow the ruling elite to destroy the heritage of the poor which is qualitative public varsity education.
According to Omole, Wale Babalakin who is the leader of Federal Government team is being rejected by the union because he is an interested party pursuing a private university license and will do everything to jeopardize public education funding.
Omole noted that a situation whereby two members in the FG team are pursuing their private university licenses indicate they will not favour funding of public education.
The ASUU boss maintained that the three-week old ASUU strike is borne out of genuine and patriotic commitment to ensure a better future for children of the masses and that of Nigeria.
He therefore dismissed the allegation being bandied by the government that the strike was political.
“How can our strike be political when there are matters that you as government signed into and you failed to fulfil your promises?
“To us, it is the Federal government that is being political with the truth by becoming untrustworthy. How can the President and his Vice be asking Nigerian universities to become one of the leading universities of the world without making the same commitments responsive and responsible governments in the world are making to education?
“Our leadership have shown consistent disrespect for agreements and this is why they can no longer be trusted by our union,” he said.