NANS, UNILAG ASUU leader reject court order asking ASUU to call off strike

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Dr. Dele Ashiru, UNILAG ASUU Chairman.

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By KEMI KASUMU

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has rejected the order by the National Industrial Court (NIC) that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) should call off its prolonged strike and return to classrooms.

NANS Public Relations Officer (PRO), Giwa Yisa, said the order issued on Wednesday by NIC is biased.

Yisa, who said that the Federal Government is incapable of handling crisis, said NANS repudiates the court’s verdict on the grounds of unfair judgement.

Giwa averred that the court should have ruled in the favour of ASUU by making government give in to its demands, stating that the striking lecturers cannot be forced back to work with its injunctions.

The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to a report of a court judgment mandating the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its 7-month strike. As an association, we feel disturbed to read the news of the judgment because we believe that it betrays equity.

“Ordinarily, the Federal Government is not meant to have dragged ASUU to court. But, the fact that they had to drag ASUU to court is a signal that this government cannot handle crisis. And, we want to state categorically that the court cannot force members of ASUU back to lecture theatres.

“And, as it stands today, with that court judgment, we maintain that the court has not resolved the problem and we reject the judgment in strong terms. The court could have said that the Federal Government should go and pay rather than say that lecturers who are on strike should go back to classrooms. We were expecting the court to have understood that lecturers are on contract of personal service hence, they cannot be compelled to render a service they don’t want to render.

“The only remedy to this strike action is for the Federal Government to accede to the demands of ASUU which the government willingly entered into with them and properly fund education.”

The DEFENDER reports that NANS had said during its protest blocking the route to International Airport in Lagos Tuesday that the Federal Government was insensitive by not settling with ASUU so the lecturers could return to classrooms and they, the students, would resume lectures in earnest.

It will be recalled that ASUU had, following the blockade of the Airport road, reportedly backed the NANS protest.

In the meantime, Chairman of ASUU, University of Lagos Branch, Dr. Dele Ashiru, Wednesday night, described the court order as unacceptable saying the sitting government in the country has an integrity trust that is near to zero.

Responding to question while featuring on an interview session on TVC, monitored by The DEFENDER, Dr. Ashiru, said UNILAG lecturers would not resume work based on the court order.

He said anything that he will do as branch chairman of ASUU will be informed by national leadership of the union, saying, “I did not call the strike. It is national thing”.


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