The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has rejected the court judgement that mandated the Academic Staff Union of Universities to call off its ongoing industrial action.
Naija News earlier reported that the National Industrial Court of Nigeria on Wednesday ordered the ASUU to call off its nationwide strike and return to their duty posts after seven months of shutting down the learning institutions.
The order was coming following a petition before the court by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, on behalf of the Federal Government.
Students of public universities across the country have been at home since February 14 due to ASUU’s demands for improved funding for universities, and a review of salaries for lecturers, among other issues.
Reacting to the court ruling in a statement, NANS Spokesperson, Temitope Giwa, said the judgement goes against equity and fairness.
He said that rather than direct ASUU to return to the classroom, the court should have ordered the Federal Government to meet the demands of the striking lecturers.
Giwa pointed out that the moment the government took ASUU to court shows that it cannot handle a crisis, adding that the court cannot force members of ASUU to return to work.
The statement read, “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 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 the 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.”