Presidency has denied reports on President Muhammadu Buhari’s two-week ultimatum to the Minister of Education to resolve the dispute between Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Reports emerged on Tuesday that the president summoned the minister and representatives of other relevant government agencies to the State House, Abuja, and directed Adamu to resolve the dispute with the varsity lecturers within 14 days and report back to him on the matter.
The development, according to the reports, followed moves by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and some groups to organise a nationwide protest in solidarity with ASUU.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the president, Garba Shehu, who reacted to the reports in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, cautioned the media against spreading false information on the ongoing strike by ASUU.
He expressed regret that the outcome of the meeting held by the president with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to end the agitations by university unions was twisted to serve a particular purpose.
Shehu 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.
“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 the presidency was optimistic that agreements can be reached in an even shorter period if all parties/stakeholders are not unrealistically obstinate.
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 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 presidential aide added.