ERC CONDEMNS FG’S PLAN TO DRAG ASUU TO INDUSTRIAL COURT
*FG MUST DROP THE CHARGES AND MEET ALL DEMANDS OF ASUU*
We of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) condemn the decision of Buhari government to drag the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to the National Industrial Court on Monday, September 12. This was reported by ThisDay newspaper in its edition of Saturday, September 10, 2022.
We hold that the FG’s move to drag ASUU to the industrial court is a ploy to criminalize ASUU’s legitimate struggle and clamp down on the union rather than meeting their demands. Except the move is dropped or defeated, it will worsen the ongoing industrial dispute and further dampen the hope for the reopening of public universities.
Therefore, we call on the government to drop this plan to victimize ASUU and rather meet the demands of the union in order for public universities to be reopened.
The strike action by ASUU which has lasted about 7-months without any serious and sincere response and steps from the government shows how it is nonchalant about public education.
It is only an irresponsible government that would allow a closure of the public universities for this long. This is the case because of the anti-poor education policies of the Buhari government like its predecessors and the fact that the top government functionaries do not have children in public universities in the country.
It is on this note that we of the ERC call on NLC, TUC and individual trade unions, as well as student bodies and civil society organisations to condemn this planned use of the instrumentality of judiciary to attempt to criminalize a legitimate struggle of ASUU.
As a practical step, we are canvassing a peaceful solidarity action by trade unions and civil society organizations at the Industrial Court tomorrow or any day the matter comes up. We also reiterate our consistent call on the NLC and TUC to declare a 48 hour general strike and mass protest to force the government to meet the demands of ASUU and other unions so that students of public universities can resume their academic activities.
Also importantly, we urge ASUU leadership to take the struggle beyond media war and begin to organize a series of mass activities aimed at direct engagement with parents, students, trade unions, pro-masses organisations, professional bodies and the general public over their struggle to save public university education and ensure adequate funding and decent pay for their members.
Ogunjimi Isaac Ayobami
ERC Deputy National Coordinator
Adaramoye Michael Lenin
ERC National Mobilisation Officer
ERC email: firstname.lastname@example.org