The National Association of Nigerian Students on Thursday said it would commence consultations to sue the Federal Government and the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, over the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
The association made this known in a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja. The minister had during a press briefing encouraged students affected by the strike to sue ASUU.
But the NANS President, Sunday Ashefon, said, “Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to the Minister of Education Malam Adamu Adamu where he suggested that Nigerian students affected by ASUU strike must sue ASUU for liabilities suffered as a result of the strike.
“Perhaps the only thing Malam Adamu Adamu has gotten right since he became a Minister is the fact that Nigerian students needed to be compensated for their wasted time, opportunities and resources. However, the Minister is clever by half by suggesting ASUU should be held liable for the liabilities. ASUU is neither the proprietor of our tertiary institutions nor the beneficiary of the exorbitant fees we pay across our tertiary institutions in Nigeria. It is an abuse of intellect to suggest that students should sue employees for protesting bad working conditions and not the employer who is the proprietor of our schools and the beneficiary of the exorbitant school fees we pay.
“Since Nigerian students do not think like the Minister, since we can separate what is right from wrong, we will yield the advise of the Minister by exploring legal windows for compensation of our students for numerous liabilities suffered as a result of the incessant and prolonged ASUU strike. While our losses in terms of lost opportunities as a result of time wasted might not be quantifiable, our losses as regards private hostel accommodations payments, research work losses, foreign admission losses, and extra year resulting to miss of NYSC service opportunities are liabilities that can be quantified and liabilities accounted.
“We have therefore decided to take the advise of the Minister and seek legal redress for the liabilities suffered. We will therefore consult with our legal advisers to see what options are available for us to explore legally against the Federal Government, Minister of Education”.
The student body, however, called on ASUU to place the interest of the students above other interests.
“We also call on ASUU to be considerate and put students’ interests into their consideration. ASUU trying to hold the nation into ransom is unpatriotic and self-serving.
“We, therefore, advise state government whose tertiary institutions are on strike should take every reasonable measure to ensure resumption of academic activities as the current strike should never have affected state universities. We will support state government in any measure they deem fit to compel striking state university lecturers to resume work”.