The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has mentioned that it only acted on court order and several pleas from Nigerians to call off its eight-month-old strike, which started on February 14, 2022 and got suspended October 14, 2022.
The Union got an order from a court of appeal to call the strike off and return to classroom. This was after the National Industrial Court ruled against ASUU in a case filed by the Federal Government, led by Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment. The Union ended the strike just days after and told the workers to resume lectures from Monday, 17th of October
‘As you have seen from our press release – although they were interventions by the Speaker (Femi Gbajabiamila) and others – the major reason we are resuming is because we are obeying the industrial court’s judgement. The issues have not been fully resolved and no agreements signed’, said the National President of the Union, Emmanuel Osodeke, during an interview on Channels Television. He mentioned that the Union suspending the strike, isn’t because the lecturers demands were met or their issues addressed.
‘We are resuming because we are a law-abiding organisation and we don’t want to break the law. We are also hoping that the intervention of the Speaker as promised by him will resolve this problem within a very short time. So, the issues have not been resolved but we would resume because of that court injunction’, he said.
‘But one of the ministers, the Minister of Labour, believes that the best way is to force them to class. But because of the interest of the Nigerian people – the students, their parents, and the Speaker who is intervening – our members will teach’, the president said in a statement. He condemned Chris Ngige for dragging the matter to court instead of handling it the best way which is by ‘negotiation’.
Going further, he mentioned that the Federal government has to change the ‘no work, no pay’ policy as lectures will be reluctant to work and go to class. ‘You cannot expect a hungry man to be at his best’, he added; asking the government to pay the salaries as the lecturers have several accumulated classes during the strike, to meet up with.