The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on wednesday has rejected an Industrial Court judgement which ordered Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) to suspend its ongoing strike immediately.
Recall that the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) in Abuja had ordered ASUU to immediately suspend the ongoing industrial action.
Justice Polycarp Hamman held that the strike was a breach of the Section 18(1)(2) of the Trade Disputes Act, which prohibits their action.
He said the use of “shall” in the Act connotes mandatory provision not to embark on the strike pending the determination of the main suit before the court.
But reacting to the ruling in a statement, NANS National Public Relations Officer, Giwa Temitope, said the judgement betrays equity.
The student union spokesperson explained that rather than direct ASUU to return to classroom, the court should have ordered the Federal Government to sort the striking lecturers.
According to the students union, the fact that they had to drag ASUU to court is a signal that this government cannot handle crisis.
The statement read, “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.”