The Presidency has expressed optimism that the dispute between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) could be resolved earlier than the two weeks that are being projected.
The Presidency also dismissed media reports quoting President Muhammadu Buhari as giving a two-week ultimatum to the Minister of Education to resolve the dispute.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s media aide, said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, while also appealing to the media not to spread misinformation over the ongoing strike by members of ASUU.
According to Shehu, the Presidency is optimistic that agreements can be reached in an even shorter period if all parties/stakeholders are not unrealistically obstinate.
The presidential aide, however, said: “It is a pity that almost all media houses allowed themselves to be deceived by interested sources that are not the authorised spokesmen of government.’’
He said the outcome of the meeting held by the president on Tuesday with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to end the agitations by university unions ought to be beyond spin-doctoring and conjectures.
“Neither during nor after the meeting was any ultimatum given to the Minister of Education.
“During the meeting, the Minister of Education requested that the Minister of Labour hands off the negotiation to allow him lead and conclude what he had earlier on started with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“And he promised that he could get an agreement within the shortest possible time, possibly two to three weeks.
“In carrying out this assignment, the Minister will carry along all relevant ministries and agencies with statutory functions and duties relating to the issues involved,’’ he said.
He, therefore, appealed to the affected parties to work together to end the strikes.
“On the part of the administration, all doors remain open for dialogue and the resolution of the issues.
“We appeal to the media not to spread misinformation. The orchestrated media narratives seeking to present an entirely different picture, attributed to sources, in the last 24 hours are not helpful at all,’’ he advised. (NAN)