Despite the Abuja Division of the National Industrial Court’s ruling on Wednesday, the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) protracted strike is still ongoing.
According to HotGbedu Media, the court ordered the academics to start working again right once after ruling on a motion submitted by the Federal Government.
In order to grant the Federal Government’s request for an order of injunction against the teachers, the court cited section 18 of the Trade Dispute Act and the national interest of the Nigerian students.
The lecturers were ordered to report back to work by Justice Polycap Hamman.
University professors, who have been demanding the payment of their delayed salaries, are not willing to give up quickly, nevertheless.
Before going to court, the administration attempted to divide the lecturers by employing the “no-work, no-pay” policy. When it failed, a particular splinter section attempted to end the strike, but that tactic also failed, leading the government to file a complaint with the Industrial Court.
The Federal Government was much relieved by the Court’s decision, and Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labor and Employment, announced that the Committee of Vice Chancellors would be requested to reopen the institutions for teaching and learning.
Ngige expressed his elation and emphasized that the decision did not prohibit continued negotiations between the Federal Government and ASUU, calling the verdict a case of “no-victorious, no-vanquished.”
“The decision is in the greatest interest of the country,” he declared. For everyone involved—the government, the students, the professors—every Nigerian, in fact—it is a win-win situation. I recently received the court’s order requesting that ASUU return to work.
It is a wise decision. “No victor, no vanquished” is the motto. Although you have disassociated yourself from your work and are currently ASUU members, you are still present. We appreciate all that you do to educate your pupils.
We are still free to engage in additional negotiations and talks despite the court’s decision. In their meeting with the president, the provost made a number of demands, including raising the government’s offer and exploring the possibility of a bailout. Mr. President stated that he will talk to relevant parties before deciding. He will thus consult with everyone.
But ASUU disagrees with Ngige since its president, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, has shown no indication that the strike will end soon.
Instead, Osodeke cautioned about the judgment’s far-reaching consequences in an interview that aired on Channels Television on Wednesday night.
He believed that the verdict would have disastrous effects.
“Let me describe the disaster that just occurred. This occurred the last time during the military regime.
“I can promise you that a significant portion of our academics will leave this nation once this strike is done. when you shove your professors into class while employing force.
“First of all, they warned that if we owe them money and fail to pay them, they will come to us pleading for help. After seven months, nothing changed. Our team still has living members. You want to force them because they went to court after that. It’s a disaster, said Osodeke.
The Federal Government and the National Associations of Nigerian Students, NANS, who began civil action on Monday as a means of pressuring both the FG and the ASUU to find common ground, are unsure of their potential next course of action.
On Wednesday, the student body made the announcement that no political campaigning would be permitted unless the strike was called off.
The Chairman of the NANS National Taskforce on #EndASUUStrikeNow, Raymond Ojo, stated during a news conference held at the Ogun NUJ Secretariat in Abeokuta that the closure of roads and ports is merely a warning.
The government will see further protests and rallies around the nation, as well as the irritation, rage, and aggravation of Nigerian students who have been at home for the previous seven months, if it fails to resolve all the negotiations and agreements with ASUU within the allotted two weeks.
He warned: “We assure them that until we return to class, we will not permit any political campaign to be held across the nation.”
As the ASUU has already said, it will appeal the ruling, but there are signs that the government is prepared to exploit the judgment to force the reopening of the institutions.
But a cross section of lecturers, who spoke to HotGbedu Media, indicated unwillingness to obey the order pending when their salaries are paid.