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Falana opens up on ASUU strike, Industrial Court order



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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana has expressed misgivings over the ruling of the Industrial Court on Wednesday which ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to suspend its 7-month old strike.

Delivering judgement on an application filed by the Federal Government, Justice Polycarp Hamman 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.

Featuring in a Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily, Falana who is also the counsel to ASUU said the ruling would not solve the monumental crises rocking university education system in Nigeria.

Falana lamented the attitude of the Federal Government towards the demands of the union, adding that the court order would amount to nothing if key areas deserving of attention remain abandoned.

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He charged Nigerians to persuade the Government to do the needful in order to save the life of public universities in Nigeria.

Falana said: “I have my worry about the decision because the National Industrial Court, in cases like this, is expected to promote reconciliation instead of giving orders which were in the past rejected. When workers go on strike and orders are given without issues addressed, then there is a problem. Well, the ruling has been given and ASUU is filing an appeal. That’s the process.

“Having attended schools in Nigeria, I’m sad that this avoidable strike persists. The attitude of the government isn’t to address issues leading to the strike in the first place. Successive governments go around trying to destabilize ASUU.

“This regime has a track record of ignoring recommendations by various committees set up to address the matter. The government, if ready, can pick up the documents to sign and call ASUU to call off strike. The government should be persuaded by Nigerians. Of course, the public reaction to the ruling against the union shows the Government is embarrassed.”