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Court orders ASUU to call off strike

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THE National Industrial Court on Wednesday ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off the ongoing Strike.

Justice who delivered the ruling Polycarp Hamman ordered that the strike be called off pending the determination of the case between the union and the Federal Government.

The order comes amid protests by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) against the lingering strike, which is now in its seventh month.

On September 13, they protested along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, blocking the movement of vehicles and causing severe traffic gridlock.

They had also blocked the roads leading to local and international terminals in the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos on Monday, leaving many travellers stranded.

The students also threatened to occupy the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Wednesday.

Chairman, NANS National Task Force Olumide Ojo also noted that students will not allow political campaigns, set to kick off on September 28, to hold in any part of the country until the strike is called off.

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“Our blocking of access to public roads and ports is just a warning. If the government fails to conclude all the negotiations and agreement with ASUU within the frame of two weeks, they will witness more protests and rallies all over the country, they will also witness the annoyance, anger and frustration of Nigerians Students who have been at home for the past seven months.

“We will not allow any political campaign to hold across the country until we are back to class. This government has pushed so many Nigerian students into depression. We say enough is enough; we can no longer bear the brunt of this avoidable crisis in our nation’s public ivory towers again,” Ojo said.

Staff of public universities in Nigeria had downed tools on February 14 over recurring disagreements with the federal government.

The union identified the failure of the government to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Memorandum of Action (MoA) signed between both parties as one of the reasons for the strike action.

Other reasons include poor commitment to payment of academic earned allowance (EAA) and refusal to adopt the Universities Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

 

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Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via vopara@icirnigeria.org

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