Mallam Nasir El Rufai’s-led government of Kaduna State has dared to initiate “necessary disciplinary steps in accordance with the Kaduna State Public Service Rules” against lecturers of the Kaduna State University (KASU) for joining their colleagues in other universities in embarking on the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) ongoing nationwide strike.
According to a report published today on the twitter account of Daily Post Nigeria (@DailyPostNGR), Samuel Aruman, spokesman of Governor El Rufai, disclosed that there was no trade dispute between the government of Kaduna State and ASUU. Therefore, the government of that state has described the strike embarked upon by lecturers of KASU as unlawful, stating that it would not pay lecturers of that university for days that they did not work.
The statement reads: “This is unacceptable to the state government. It is an anomaly that employees can be on strike without declaring a dispute with their employer. It bears restating that Nigeria is a federation of states and no trade union can alter this federal reality by imposing on an employer – a state government – the terms that federal employees have agreed with the Federal Government.”
“The Kaduna State Government is neither affected nor bound by any dispute, disagreement or agreement ASUU may have with the Federal Government. As a sub-national entity, the Kaduna State Government is separate from the Federal Government of Nigeria. The Constitution of Nigeria clearly attests to this. It is the considered view of the Kaduna State Government that the KASU branch of ASUU has embarked on an unlawful strike. Therefore, the Kaduna State Government is not liable for salaries and allowances for the period of the unlawful strike.”
“The government shall proceed to initiate the necessary disciplinary steps in accordance with the Kaduna State Public Service Rules with respect to the individual acts of commission or omission of those that choose to join or persist in an unlawful strike.”
Although it is expected that ASUU would react to that statement, there was no such official reaction available to LinCornellah’s blog, at the time of filing this report. It would be recalled that ASUU embarked on strike on August 14th 2017, accusing government of failing to abide by terms of agreement signed in 2009 and a memorandum of understanding endorsed with government in 2012. All academic staff in Federal and State universities in Nigeria belong to ASUU. University of Ilorin is currently on sanctions from the union, for an unresolved dispute that arose from the university management’s dismissal of 49 lecturers in 2001.
Meanwhile, there appears to be no end in sight to the ongoing ASUU nationwide strike, as unconfirmed reports indicate that several branches of ASUU who met this week, voted for continuation of the strike. They reportedly claim that the government has not sufficiently attended to their demands.
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