While controversies regarding the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU rages, the presidency has backtracked on the ultimatum allegedly issued by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Minister of Education Adamu Adamu, to put an end to the industrial action.
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu came out on Wednesday to give an insight into the interventionist moves taking place within the presidency.
According to the presidency, “the outcome of the meeting held by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to end the agitations by university unions ought to be beyond spin-doctoring and conjectures.
Indirectly chiding the media, he said it was a pity that almost all media houses allowed themselves to be deceived by interested sources that are not the authorized spokesmen of government.
He reiterated that neither during nor after the meeting was an ultimatum given to the Minister of Education.
According to him, during the meeting, the Minister of Education requested that the Minister of Labour hands off the negotiation to allow him to lead and conclude what he had earlier started with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). And he promised that he could get an agreement within the shortest possible time, possibly two to three weeks.
“In carrying out this assignment, the Minister will carry along all relevant ministries and agencies with statutory functions and duties relating to the issues involved.
“The Presidency is optimistic that agreements can be reached in an even shorter period if all parties/stakeholders are not unrealistically obstinate. We appeal to the parties to work together to end the strikes.
“On the part of the administration, all doors remain open for dialogue and the resolution of the issues.
“We appeal to the media not try to spread misinformation. The orchestrated media narratives seeking to present an entirely different picture, attributed to sources, in the last 24 hours are not helpful at all,” Shehu noted in a statement on Wednesday.