The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has respond to the order by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) that asked its members to call off the seven-month-long strike.
The union in a statement signed by the Lagos Zonal Coordinator, Dr Adelaja Odukoya, quoted the National President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, as saying, “our lawyer is filing an appeal and stay of execution of the judgment.”
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According to the statement titled, “NICN back to work order on ASUU: Be calm”, Osodeke urged the aggrieved university teachers to remain calm as there is no cause for alarm on the back-to-work order delivered earlier today.
“Members should remain resolute and strong. A people united can never be defeated. Solidarity without compromise,’’ he stated.
In a similar development, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has described the Industrial Court judgment as a black market judgment.
The national student body’s spokesperson, Giwa Temitope, described the NICN ruling as a “black market judgment”.
He explained that the only solution to the ongoing strike is for the government to meet the demands of the union, which they willingly entered into with ASUU.
“Our attention has been drawn to news 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 the industrial 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 (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, ” he stated.