From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The House of Representatives has resolved to weigh in on the industrial action embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Deputy Speaker of the House, Idris Wase, who spoke yesterday when the Chairman, House Committee on Labour, Mohammed Wudil, briefed the House after receiving the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).
Recall that NLC had embarked on a two-day solidarity strike with ASUU. The academic body down tools in February following the Federal Government’s delay in fulfilling its agreement since 2009.
Wase said: “We appreciate the work done by Engr Mohammed Wudil on behalf of the House with the assurance that by the grace of God, the leadership will weigh in to it and act promptly. We are going to do justice to all their demands.
Wudil had to said the lingering strike was also affecting them as most of their children schooling in public universities were languishing at home.
He said: Mr Speaker, by the mandate of the leadership, I was sent to receive members of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) who are on protests and to submit their demands in respect of the solidarity strike by ASUU.
“The demands are received. We went with about seven members. I spoke and Hon. Peter Akpatason spoke.
“We assured them that the House of Representatives is the last bus stop of the common man.
“And, also, the National Assembly is the symbol of democracy.
“Even in military, there are ministers and governors but there is no legislators. We told that we received their complain and their demands in solidarity with ASUU.
“On behalf of the House, I promised them that the leadership of the House of Representatives will bring those concerns to the table.
“The minister of education, the minister of labour, minister of finance, ASUU, TUC, NANS, to ensure that we get a time, even if it is to sleep there on that day, to ensure that the matter is resolved in the tone that everybody will understand.
“We assured them that we are also the representative of the people. Some of us are feeling that pain because we have our children in the public universities.
“I heard that some people are saying that all our children are not in public universities.
“Mr Speaker, you know so many of us that have our children in the public universities. Part of the demands is that they want autonomy of local governments so that local governments can function.
“They want the state assemblies to key into our resolution of the local government autonomy and which they said about 5 legislators supported local government autonomy.
“They did the rally peacefully. We addressed them peacefully. Mr Speaker, they even commended the House of Representatives for attending to them even before the Senate.”