By Uzair Adam Imam
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has described the ruling against the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) by the Industrial Court as black ‘market judgement’.
NANS said the ruling betrayed equity because the Federal Government, at the first place, ought not to drag the academic union before the court.
The court Wednesday has ordered ASUU to suspend its ongoing strike immediately, saying the strike was a breach of the Section 18(1)(2) of the Trade Disputes Act, which prohibits their action.
The students’ union disclosed this in a statement by its National Public Relations Officer, Giwa Yisa Temitope, who described the ruling as a “black market judgment.”
The statement read in part, “Our attention has been drawn to a news of a court judgment mandating the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call of 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.”