By our reporter| Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday recalled how his administration resolved a four-month-old strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in one day.
Jonathan, who made the disclosure in Abuja at the 70th birthday celebration of Matthew Hassan Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, organised by The Kukah Centre, explained that managing society is a complex issue.
“The society we are managing is complex, now we are talking about ASUU strike, during my time too, ASUU had four months of strike, different committees were meeting and meeting and nothing was working. I said how can our children stay out of school for four months? So I had to call a meeting of all the leadership of ASUU.
“I presided over the meeting with my vice president, the Attorney General was there, I said that that night we must solve the problem. The Attorney General was there, Second to the Government of the Federation was there, the ministers of education were there, the labor ministers were there the finance ministers, everybody that has to do with it.
“And I thought that my being there would help us to do things quickly. But we spent the whole night, before we finished on like 5:30am Before we concluded and the strike was called off, so there were issues,” Jonathan said.
University lecturers have been on strike since February over irreconcilable differences with the federal government.
ASUU president, Emmanuel Osodeke last week advised the Muhammadu Buhari-led government to learn how to resolve the ongoing strike from former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Osodeke, who gave the advise in an interview with AIT’s Focus Nigeria, recalled how former president Goodluck Jonathan engaged the union in a 14-hour negotiation to resolve the issue.
“Government should for once go the way of Goodluck Jonathan. And in one night, we had that meeting for 14 hours. Open. Both sides were open, no class, no power, no sitting power, and we looked at all the issues and we resolved it within 14 hours, he said.
“If this government can put out a strong team, if the president cannot be there, let him put a strong team together or people who are not part of those who are telling lies presently.
“People who love this country. They don’t have to be in government. If you can put this thing together and we meet to look at how we can resolve this national problem,” he concluded.