Group urges Universities Lecturers to obey Industrial Court’s order

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

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The Nigerian Universities Sustainable Peace Team SPT, under the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, has urged the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU, to obey the Industrial Court’s order to suspend the ongoing strike it embarked upon seven months ago.

The team made this known through the Former Secretary General of the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, Professor Micheal Faborode while reacting to the ruling on the interlocutory injunction filed by the Nigerian government against ASUU.

READ ALSO: Industrial Court Orders Universities Association to suspend strike

In a message shared with Voice of Nigeria on the Wednesday Court ruling, the SPT called for more rational answers to end the industrial action by Universities Lecturers in the interest of the country’s education sector.

According to the team, Well being a court order, it should be obeyed, however, it is one thing to force the horse to the brook, but forcing to drink is another thing entirely

“I would admonish the FGN to still pursue a more elegant solution to the problem for a more sustainable and reasonable solution in the overall interest of our educational system and national development.

The Nigerian Universities Sustainable Peace Team disclosed that it had made recommendations as a stepping stone towards a comprehensive and holistic solution to the issues between the government and the members of ASUU.

The team had appealed to the Nigerian government to revisit the no work no pay policy implemented on the striking lecturers of public universities.

They also called on the Federal Government to pay University professors N800,000 as against the N1.2 million negotiated by the Nimi Briggs committee.

Nigerian Universities Sustainable Peace Team is comprised of Prof. Jibril Aminu, former Vice Chancellor, University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID); Emeritus Prof. Olufemi Bamiro,  former Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan (UI); Prof. Ekanem Braide, President, Academy of Science; and Dr Nkechi Nwagogu, former Pro-Chancellor, University of Calabar (UNICAL).

Other members of the team are Prof. Joe Ahaneku, former Vice Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK); Prof. Fatima Mukhtar, former Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Dutse; and Prof. Akpan Ekpo, former Vice Chancellor of University of Uyo (UNIUYO)

Nigerian Students Association Rejects Court Order

Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has rejected the Industrial Court judgement which ordered the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) to suspend its ongoing strike immediately.

Reacting to the judgement passed against the strike, the leadership of NANS described the judgment as a “Black Market”.

A statement issued by the Association’s Spokesperson, Giwa Yisa Temitope, stated that the only solution to end the lingering strike was for the Nigerian government to fulfil the agreement between them and ASUU.

“Our attention has been drawn to news of a court judgment mandating the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its seven-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 the 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 a 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.”

It would be recalled that ASUU had embarked on strike since February 14, 2022, due to unresolved issues with the Nigerian government while the National Industrial Court ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to call off the ongoing Strike on Wednesday following a ruling by Justice Polycarp Hamman, who restrained ASUU from continuing with the industrial action pending the determination of the suit.

 

 

PIAK

 

 

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