The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has fualted the court judgement mandating the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call of its seven months strike.
National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) had on Wednesday ordered ASUU to call off its ongoing nationwide strike.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 to press home the demands for improved funding for universities, a review of salaries for lecturers, among other issues.
Several meetings between ASUU and the Federal Government had ended in a deadlock.
Reacting to the ruling, NANS said the judgement betrays equity.
A stataement issued on Wednesday by NANS National Piblic Relations Officer, Giwa Temitope, said that rather than direct ASUU to return to classroom, the court should have ordered the Federal Government to access to the striking lecturers demands.
According to the students’ body, the fact that they had to drag ASUU to court is a signal that the current administration cannot handle crisis.
“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 months 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 statement read.
We’ll disrupt political campaigns – NANS
Meanwhile, NANS has vowed to disrupt political campaigns billed to start later this month.
While addressing a press conference on Wednesday, the Chairman, NANS National Taskforce on #EndASUUStrikeNow, Ojo Olumide, reiterated the students’ commitment to sustained protest until the government resolves with ASUU.
According to him, students will continue to ground all the nation’s public assets from roads to airports if the Federal Government fails to resolve with the leadership of ASUU in no distant time.
“For those misconstruing our struggle, we call on them to see reason with Nigerian students and join us in the struggle to save public education in the country.
“The leadership of NANS demands a better deal for the education of the Nigerian masses because most of the children of the privileged few now study either overseas or in private universities established with our common wealth across the country by the same set of people we entrusted to govern us. This is more reason they will continue to turn deaf ears to the demand by ASUU for improved standards and conditions of learning in our public higher institutions.
“Our blocking of access to public roads and ports is just a warning. If the government fails to conclude all the negotiations and agreement with ASUU within the frame of two weeks, they will witness more protests and rallies all over the country, they will also witness the annoyance, anger, and frustration of Nigerians students who have been at home for the past seven months.
“As we promise them that we will not allow any political campaign to hold across the country until we are back to class. This government has pushed so many Nigerians students into depression. We say enough is enough; we can no longer bear the brunt of this avoidable crisis in our nation’s public ivory towers again,” he said.