by Segun Odeleye
Once again, President Goodluck Jonathan has called on the Academic Staff Union of Universities to call off its strike action. The president stated this on Monday, when he addressed the opening session of the All Nigerian Judges Conference in Abuja, which was organised by the National Judicial Council.
According to the president, the ASUU strike would prevent the country from becoming one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2020.
The president however conceded that ASUU had the right to embark on the industrial action. This is despite the fact that the president has recently threatened to sack the lecturers if the strike was not called off by Monday.
He said, “This administration recognises and respects the right of workers, including the right to embark on industrial action to press home their demand and has taken concrete steps to address the grievances of ASUU. I therefore use this occasion to call on ASUU to call off its strike.
“With this, Nigeria’s quest to become one of the world’s 20 largest economies by the year 2020 cannot be achieved in an atmosphere of industrial disharmony. Nigeria’s geopolitical history has been characterised by incessant labour disputes and industrial actions.
“While views may differ on the utility of industrial action as a means of advancing the collective interest of workers in the polity, it is an unassailable fact that labour and industrial harmony is sine qua non for the socio-economic development of any nation, Nigeria inclusive.”