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Court’s action on strike a declaration of war — ASUU

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ebonyi Chapter, on Thursday, condemned the National Industrial Court’s judgement which ordered the striking lecturers to suspend their seven-month-old strike.

Justice Polycarp Hamman had on Wednesday ordered the varsity lecturers to end the strike and return to classrooms.

The judge, who gave the order while on an application filed by the federal government, said the strike “has done irreparable damage to the lives of the affected students and the country’s education system.”

He added that the industrial action contravenes the Section 18(1)(2) of the Trade Disputes Act.

In a statement issued by the chapter Chairman, Ikechuku Igwenyi, the union also slammed the Federal Government over its “distractive and obnoxious policies” against university lecturers.

Ikechuku said the federal government lacks the basic understanding of the university system and the nature of contract between lecturers and employers with its “no work, no pay” policy.

He added that the government was not ready to address the issues raised by the union and urged the members to stay courageous.

The statement read: “When a matter leaves the round and peaceful negotiation table to the court, it becomes difficult to predict the possible end of the imbroglio. It has therefore become obvious that the Federal Government of Nigeria has clearly declared war against academic staff in Nigerian Federal Universities.

READ ALSO: Keeping students at home has security implications, DSS tells ASUU

“The NIC has ordered ASUU to call off the ongoing strike and return to the classroom with empty stomachs and unpaid bills pending the determination of the suit filed against the union by the Federal Government.

“Meanwhile, it has become difficult to hold the government responsible and true to their word because NASU and SSANU were promised to be paid their salary when they resume work and it has been over a month without any light of hope or fidelity. Going to court has implications in further delaying the negotiation process and will definitely postpone the day of joy for Nigerian university workers, students and parents.

“National Industrial Court judgement is not a cul-de-sac or end of the road. There are other levels of appeal and stay of execution orders. It is imperative now to ask the Federal Government of Nigeria whose interest they are working hard to protect because the genuine Nigeria students they claim they are fighting for have been protesting and recently called the National Industrial Court judgement ‘a black market judgement’.

“The introduction of IPPIS and imposing the fraudulent payment platform on universities workers without integrity testing by NITDA and the current no work, no pay policy are clear indications of unwillingness to implement the agreements FGN willingly signed in 1981, 1992, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2009 and the several Memoranda of Understanding of 2013 and 2017 with the Memoranda of Action of 2019 and 2020.”

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