Prolonged ASUU Strike: NBA Chairman In Abia State Threatens Court Action Against FG

Dr. Samuel Chima Nwosu

The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Ukwa chapter, Abia State, Dr. Samuel Chima Nwosu, has threatened to take the Federal Government to Court if the issues surrounding the strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, were not resolved within the next 14 days.

In a statement, the NBA Chairman said it was unacceptable that ASUU had been on strike for close to three months with signs of a resolution not being in sight.

He described as unfortunate that while academic activities in the public Universities have been paralysed, many functionaries in government have been occupied with political engagements towards the 2023 general elections.

Dr. Nwosu’s statement reads in part:

“The Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU), the union of the Academic Staff of universities in Nigeria have been on strike for sometime now over the failure of the Nigerian Government to honour it’s agreement on university funding and welfare of staff.

“The latest strike action which as usual has paralysed academic activities in the Nigerian Universities is yet another in the number of the almost annual ritual in the Nigerian University system whose obvious killer consequences have continually being overlooked by successive governments in Nigeria.

“More embarrassing and suffocating is the fact that while the ASUU has been on strike for these months, the Federal and State Governments and the individuals who should be responsible for good governance and the effective and uninterrupted university educational system in the nation and the states have been effectively distracted by political activities leading to the 2023 general elections in Nigeria.

“There is no visible governance going on at all the levels of government as almost all those who were either elected or appointed to direct affairs in the respective sectors of government of the nation and the states during the 2019 general elections are back to the trenches struggling for either the renewal of their mandate or seeking repositioning or upgrading of their earlier elected positions.

“For instance it was in the news earlier in the week that the Minister of State for Education had obtained the Expression of Interest and Nomination Form of his political party to contest for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023, whereas a look at his activities in the past three months while the strike action by ASUU has lasted does not reveal any serious effort on his part as the Minister of Education towards ending the strike. The same is the case with the Minister of Labour and Employment and the Vice President who are by their portfolios directly responsible for the resolution of the ASUU strike but are now completely distracted by their quest for more power. The same is also true of the entire Federal Executive Council (FEC) of the Government of Nigeria, the leadership and entire members of the National Assembly, the various states governments and all government power centres.

“While the Nigerian Government functionaries have shifted their pastime to political activities towards 2023, the university education in Nigeria which is among the lowest rated globally is once again comatose. No one is doing or taking any steps towards resolving the strike.

“Since the beginning of the 4th Republic in 1999, the university education in Nigeria has suffered a down time of about five years meaning that the education system in Nigeria has cumulatively not been in place for five years. This is alarming.
Sadly, citizens have not done enough to ensure that the government at all levels discharge the duties for which they are elected.

“Why should the universities owned by the states be on strike at the same time with the universities owned by the Federal government when they do not have the same employers. Can’t the states settle with the the Academic Staff Unions in their various states to reduce the incidence of frequent disruption of university education system in Nigeria.

“On this note we commend Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State for ensuring that the state owned tertiary institutions in the state are not on strike by adequately providing for the needs of the institutions.

“We call on the Federal government and all the states whose universities are on strike to as a matter of urgency, to negotiate with the ASUU, meet the funding and welfare obligations to the institutions and the staff of the universities so that the ongoing strike action is discontinued and called off without further delay.

“In the same vein, the demands of the Academic Staff Unions of the Polytechnics who have also been threatening strike action should also as a matter of urgency be resolved and all their demands met to avert their impending strike action.

“We shall be compelled to take out writs of mandamus against the relevant government functionaries to do the needful if this call is not adhered to within fourteen days (two weeks) from the date of this call.”


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