The Vice-Chancellor, Salem University Lokoja, Kogi state, Prof. Alewo Johnson Akubo, has said the court injunction compelling the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to resume lecture was a time-bomb.
He said this on Friday while speaking with newsmen in the institution’s premises in Lokoja.
Akubo, who urged the Federal Government to continue with the dialogue rather than arm-twisting the union, declared that “there is no place in the world where force has ever yielded positive results.”
“I have never seen anywhere in the world that arm twisting has ever positively resolved any crisis. What I will advise is that the government should engage ASUU in dialogue and more dialogue to resolve the issue in the interest of parents and the children.
“Now, there can’t be a genuine reconciliation in the absence of sincerity of purpose. You cannot under any circumstance achieve a lasting solution if you come to the negotiation table with a mindset,” he said.
Akubo, however, expressed optimism that the crisis would be resolved through dialogue, saying ASUU was ready to shift ground by virtue of their body language.
Speaking on the effect of the strike, he said, “The first thing that will happen is that there will be a generational gap because what the universities are producing now are at best half-baked graduates and that is what ASUU is crying about.”
Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone E, North East, has described the judgment by the National Industrial Court as “a win-win for Nigerian students.”
Its coordinator, Alhassan Adam, said this on Friday at a press conference held at NUJ Press Centre, Bauchi, pleading with ASUU to respect the judgment of the court with good faith “so that students can return to class.”
Adam gave the assurance that “NANS will continue to stand and protect the interest of Nigerian students,” but called on the federal government to honour the striking lecturers’ demands to enable them to settle their debts and other expenses.
He said, “This press conference here in Bauchi state regarding the court judgement between ASUU and the federal government. After a seven-month stand-off between ASUU and the federal government, just the day before yesterday (that’s Wednesday), the industrial court made a judgement between the federal government and academic staff union of universities (ASUU), which the federal government won the case against ASUU.
Indeed, the judgment is a win-win for Nigerian students under the leadership of the new president of NANS, Comrade Usman Umar Barambu. Based on that, the leadership of NANS deems it necessary to call on ASUU to respect the judgment so that our students can return to class after a seven-month stay at home.
“We learned that the ASUU would appeal the case; it’s their right to appeal, but they should respect the judgment and return to work while the case continues at the Court of Appeal. We hope to hear positive feedback from both the federal government and ASUU as we continue to engage them for the interest of our dear students.”
Adam used the occasion to appreciate Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi state for the tremendous contributions to the development of education in the state, noting that the governor “has done very well in the areas of education development and welfare of Nigerian students.”