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After the court ruling about the ASUU case

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Yesterday, I wrote about the powers of the National Industrial Courts in determining the legality of strike actions by trade Unions. Today, the court ordered a trade Union to suspend a strike and resume work.

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  1. ASUU must obey this order or appeal against it. But would an appeal lead to any different decision? I don’t think so. Perhaps the court of appeal may even demand obedience before hearing the appeal. Remember, the case was based on the powers of the Minister under Section 17 of the Trade Disputes Act and national interest. Which judge will say continuing a 7-month-old strike is in the public interest? ASUU and its members have had a lot of favourable judgements from this court. Obeying this ‘negative decision’ will show their commitment to the rule of law. Obeying court orders is the right thing to do.
  2. The government should also consider how quickly it can resolve the issue with our Higher institutions, the Unions, including ASUU and the education ecosystem. Our universities are not in the best shape, and we need to act urgently. I believe the government should withdraw from direct interactions with the Unions and allow the Councils to take the lead. The councils as employers of labour should urgently act to improve the working conditions of staff. We must alleviate the conditions of our universities and the stakeholders. Many university councils have been ineffective in their duty and have refused to take decisive actions to take the Universities to higher heights.
  3. The court ruling does not stop further negotiation and consultations. The negotiations should continue, and the House of Representatives, led by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, should continue with their promise to meet the President about the issue.
  4. The Court has to ensure an accelerated hearing of the matter. This will be in the interest of the case, the universities and the court itself. The court has an opportunity to demonstrate that it dispatches cases faster than other courts in Nigeria.

Abayomi Fawehinmi is passionate about excellence in leadership, Human Development, Education and Nation building. Tweets: @yomitheprof

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