Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has narrated how his administration resolved the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike in one night.
He narrated the experience on Wednesday during a conference to mark the 70th birthday of the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Hassan Kukah.
ASUU embarked on strike on 14 February over a number of issues, including the non-payment of revitalisation fund and earned academic allowances as well as the non-adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) over the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
Speaking at the event, Jonathan said “The society we are managing is quite complex. Yes, I was the president, and I tried my best. We are now talking about the ASUU strike.
“During my time too, ASUU had four months of the strike. Different committees were meeting, but nothing was working. I said ‘How can our children stay out of school for four good 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 night we must solve the problem. The Attorney General was there; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation was there; the ministers of education were there; the labour ministers were there; the finance ministers and everybody that had to do with it [strike].
“And I thought that my being there would help us to do things quickly. But we spent the whole night. We finished like 5:30 am and the strike was called off. So, there were issues” Jonathan added.