NANS disapproves of court order asking ASUU to call off strike

NEWS DIGEST – The National Industrial Court has been criticised for its ruling that commanded striking lecturers to return to teaching in classrooms under the Federal Government’s terms.

The National Association of Nigeria Students, NANS, said the ruling of the NIC early Wednesday betrays the principle of equity.

It was the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who wrote the Chief Registrar of the NIC two weeks ago, petitioning the court to “bring the dispute to an end” by ordering ASUU to call off its strike.

Before Ngige’s letter to the NIC, the Federal Government and ASUU had held several meetings to discuss subjects causing the dispute, but they often ended in deadlocks.

According to NANS, the Federal government never should have filed a suit against ASUU and that it needed to do so was a signal that the federal government could not, itself, handle any crisis.

“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,” read a statement by Giwa Temitope, the National Public Relations Officer of NANS.

“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.”

ASUU has been on strike since February 14 to demand that the Federal Government commit to past agreements with the union, review the salaries of striking lecturers and voice its disapproval of the IPPIS.

On Tuesday, Speaker Gbajabiamila met with representatives of ASUU to discuss ways to bring the 7-month-old strike to an end.

“There are principally seven areas ASUU has put forward as conditions for them to go back to class, and we have looked at those areas and agreed on certain things,” said Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.

The Speaker added that only the President can ratify the agreement but not until after he’s back from his United Nations commitments when he will be available to review them.

Students, who have now become visibly frustrated by the longevity of the strike, continue to stage demonstrations across the country to call the attention of the presidency.

Having blocked Lagos-Ibadan and Ibadan-Ife expressways last week, NANS took its protest to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Monday and has threatened to stage similar protests at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport and Kaduna-Abuja expressway.

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