By Muhammad Aminu
The Federal Government has denied giving any ultimatum to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, to bring an end to the lingering industrial action in public universities.
Senior Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said in a statement on Wednesday that there was no ultimatum given to the education minister to end the strike.
He accused the media of being deceived by their sources by giving definite time, saying the minister only suggested two or three weeks or even less.
The statement noted: “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.”
“It is a pity that almost all media houses allowed themselves to be deceived by interested sources that are not the authorized spokesmen of the government.
According to Shehu, the Minister will carry all the necessary stakeholders who can realistically work to end the strike as the government doors are open.
“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.
“The Presidency is optimistic that agreements can be reached in even a shorter period if all parties/stakeholders are not unrealistically obstinate. We appeal to the 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.”
The statement called on the media to desist from spreading misinformation on the matter.
“We appeal to the media not try 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.
“The outcome of the meeting held by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to end the agitations by university unions ought to be beyond spin-doctoring and conjectures, it added.
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