Nigerian students on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to comply with the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) demands in light of the four-week extension.
They said that if their demands were met, the lecturers’ continuing strike would be put to an end, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
They claimed that the ongoing strike was improper for the education industry and that it has halted many students’ academic development and performance.
Victory Adebowale, a student, said that the extension of the ongoing strike was disheartening, saying that the strike had lasted for too long and had affected Nigerian students negatively.
According to him, the Federal Government and ASUU have had enough negotiations within the last five months, adding that the extension would further subject students to depression.
Adebolwale said that embarking on strike tended to keep students in school for more than the supposed estimated period of academic session.
“Our house rent expires during the strike and most landlords do not care, some students might lose interest in academic activities following the “Yahoo Yahoo’’ trend which is now rampant in the society.
“They might at the end of the day, see schooling as a waste of time and that schooling is a scam” he said.
Ruth Essanse, another student, said she was not really being affected by the ongoing strike as it came during her industrial attachment programme.
She said that the extension of the strike by the union was to give the government and ASUU enough time to deliberate on possible ways of solving the issues of strike.
Essanse urged the Federal Government to sign the 2009 renegotiated agreement, aimed at improving universities’ teaching and learning outcomes, saying that the ongoing strike was due to lack of attention on the universities.
Mr James Mutudi, a student said extending the strike was to draw the attention of stakeholders and the Federal Government in meeting the needs of ASUU.
She said the industrial action had also affected both students and lecturers, adding that many lecturers had resolved into doing menial job to provide for their families.
“I feel so sad spending extra one month after the five months strike. The Government has failed us, they don’t care about our future and our educational sector,” he said.
Mutudi, therefore, advised fellow students to use the strike period for skills acquisition or business, rather than staying idle, adding that, he was doing brick laying.
Hope Opomu, another student ,pointed out that the reason for the extension was because the Federal Government was being adamant in meeting the demands of ASUU.
“I won’t blame ASUU for extending the ongoing strike by four weeks if their demands were not meant,” she said.
Opomu added that the strike was extended to give the government time to pay salaries and also meet other demands of ASUU, adding that the extension was at the detriment of students future.
She added that the strike was a major setback to academic activities as it hindered students from graduating at the speculated time.
Opomu advised students to endure and join hands together by protesting and ensuring that the Federal Government met the demands of ASUU. (NAN)
ASUU Brace For Another Face-Off With FG
The Federal Government and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU may be bracing for another round of face-off, recent developments between the union and the government have indicated.
Fidel Info reports that The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has insisted that the government will not pay full salaries to lecturers despite their ongoing nationwide protest.
Adamu, made this stance while speaking with State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday.
The minister insisted that the government resolution, that the protesting lecturers would not be paid for work not done, was in line with the ‘No work no pay’ policy.
Recall that ASUU had on Monday begun protests across the country to press home their demand for full pay after the Federal Government refused to pay them for the eight-month period the lecturers were on strike.
ASUU, which had earlier, in February, embarked on strike, called off their strike in October, following an order by the Court of Appeal.
Following the development, the government paid the lecturers half salaries for the month of October while insisting that it would not pay for the eight months they were on strike.
But, ASUU began protests across the country over the half salaries paid by the government for the month of October.
In reaction to the protest, the education minister declared on Wednesday that the lecturers “would not be paid for work not done.”
The minister also reacted to the allegation made by the President of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodoke, that paying the lecturers on a pro-rata basis was a ploy to make them casual workers.
“Nobody can make university lecturers casual workers,” he said.
Adamu said he was not aware that the lecturers were threatening a one-day action to protest the government’s action.
ASUU Branches Begins Traditional Voting Today
Branches of the Academic Staff Union of Universities will begin their customary vote today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday) about the union’s ongoing strike.
The National Executive Council will receive the various branches’ decisions for final decision-making.
This information was provided to the PUNCH correspondent in Abuja by a highly-placed source within the NEC on Tuesday.
“We got the directive after the meeting with the speaker yesterday(Monday). The intervention was timely. Branches will vote between today and tomorrow after which the decisions will be convened to the NEC,” the source said.
The new development follows a meeting with Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the House of Representatives, who organized many talks between the union and the Federal Government side.
The strike would end in a few days, according to Femi Gbajabiamila, SAN, the lead attorney for ASUU, who also stated this to The PUNCH.
The government’s inability to satisfy ASUU’s unmet requests, according to the union, prompted the union to go on strike on Monday, February 14, 2022.
After “failed negotiations,” the minister of labor and employment Chris Ngige hauled the lecturers on strike to the National Industrial Court.
On September 21, the National Industrial Court ordered ASUU to end the strike.
The federal government’s request on notice was granted by the court, ordering the lecturers back into the classrooms.
In his decision on the interlocutory injunction, trial judge Polycarp Hamman prohibited ASUU from carrying out the industrial action until the outcome of the lawsuit brought by the federal government against ASUU.
Unhappy with the decision, the union went to the appeals court to challenge it.
Additionally, a request for a stay of the Industrial Court’s judgment was made.
The Court of Appeal ordered the striking lecturers to “immediately” call off the eight months strike, having struck out ASUU’s application for a stay of execution of the lower court’s order.
It said it was within ASUU’s right to appeal the decision of the industrial court.
Agreeing with the federal government’s argument that ASUU cannot approach the appellate court with “dirty hands”, the panel held, “should the applicant fail to obey the order (of the lower court), the leave granted shall be automatically vacated.Branches of the Academic Staff Union of Universities will begin their customary vote today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday) about the union’s ongoing strike.
FULL DETAILS: Appeal Court Orders ASUU Immediately Call Off Eight-month Old Strike
The Academic Staff Union of Universities’ request for leave to appeal was approved by the Court of Appeal in Abuja (ASUU).
The leave so granted enables ASUU to formally contest the National Industrial Court’s interlocutory order directing its members to return to work until the outcome of the Federal Government’s substantive lawsuit against the strike that ASUU had initiated. The order was issued on September 21.
A three-judge panel of the court, presided over by Justice Hamma Barka, issued an order on Friday directing the professors on strike to “immediately” end their eight-month strike.
The court struck out ASUU’s request for stay of execution of the Industrial Court’s order, which its lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) withdrew on Thursday.
The appellate court said should ASUU fail to re-open the universities, the order to appeal against the interlocutory injunction of the National Industrial Court “will be automatically vacated.”
It gave the union seven days within which to file its notice of appeal against the order issued by the National Industrial Court.
Justice Barka said, in the lead ruling, that “I am inclined to granting the application to appeal the decision of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.
“But, the order of the lower court shall be immediately obeyed.”
Justice Barka agreed with ASUU that it was with its right to appeal the decision of the Industrial Court.
The judge also agreed with the Federal Government that ASUU could not approach the appellate court with “dirty hands” having failed to first, comply with the September 21 order.
He said “should the applicant (ASUU) fail to obey the order (of the lower court), the leave so granted shall be automatically vacated.”
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