Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has begged the workers of various bodies of Nigerian universities for not responding on time to their demands.
Adamu, who made the appeal on Thursday at a reconciliatory meeting in Abuja brokered by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, urged the unions including the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASSU), the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), as well as other aggrieved workers, to give the Ministery another chance at resolving the lingering crisis that has affected tertiary education in the country.
Represented at the meeting by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Andrew David Adejo, Adamu said the Ministry had not abandoned the issues affecting the workers but that prevailing “circumstances had made it look as such.”
While speaking at the meeting, Adejo said Adamu had specifically pleaded for forgiveness and urged that a new round of negotiations be reopened.
“We want to let you know that whatever sins the Ministry had committed before should be forgiven. We have repented and we will not sin anymore. We want you to see us as partners in progress,” Adejo said.
“It in that spirit of forgiveness of the just ended Ramadan fast that we feel that we fixed the meeting to discuss and resolve the issues.
“It may seem as if your employer, the Ministry of Education has abandoned you, but this is not true, that is not the true picture.
“As was captured in the communiqué issued at your last meeting with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the social apartheid the present strike is causing is leading to so many other problems that the earlier we sit down to solve it the better for the country.