Port Harcourt- The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is not negotiating with the Rivers government to end its nine-month old strike in the state university.
Felix Igwe, the Chairman of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) chapter of the union, said this on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt.
Igwe said government had yet to open discussion with the union contrary to speculations that ASUU had started negotiation with the university authority.
``Ever since the strike started, the state government has not invited the union for talks with the aim of resolving the issues that led to the strike.
``This is contrary to rumours before and after the university convocation that ASUU had started negotiation with the university administration and the state government.
``The situation is the same as I speak, but ASUU has always maintained that it is available and open to dialogue in resolving the crises in the university.
``The best way forward in making RSUST remain a university is by correcting the anomalies that currently exist there.”
Igwe said that in spite of a subsisting Industrial Court order, the university authority had refused to allow the union to hold its meetings in the campus.
Reacting to the development, the university spokesman, Mr Desmond Wosu, said that there were plans to discuss with the union to restore normalcy in the institution.
Wosu called on the striking lecturers to resume their academic programmes, pending when discussion would begin.
NAN recalls that ASUU had in August 2012 embarked on strike to protest the re-appointment of Prof. Barineme Fakae, as the institution’s vice-chancellor.
The union claimed that Gov. Chibuike Amaechi did not follow due process in re-appointing Fakae.