Professor Mustapha Gimba, a political science professor at the University of Jos, criticised the Federal Government on Thursday for dragging the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to the industrial court and obtaining a favourable ruling.
He asserted that lecturers have fundamental human rights that must be respected and that the Federal Government cannot threaten, threaten, threaten, and then whip lecturers into starting classes again.
Professor Gimba, a former political adviser in the office of the former president Goodluck Jonathan, observed that forcing morally mature men to testify in front of a court of law would not bring out their best qualities, but rather would result in a constant state of half-baked thinking that would not endure over time.
WITHIN NIGERIA recalls that the industrial court sitting in Abuja had ordered lecturers back to work.
Already, the ASUU had responded to the court judgment through its National President, Emmanuel Osodeke, saying lecturers cannot be compelled to return to classes in the event of an order by the National Industrial Court of Arbitration.
Professor Gimba, therefore, urged the court and the Federal Government to rescind their decision and take a decision that best suits the interest of students and the lecturers, adding that “you can force a donkey to the river, but you cannot force it drink water.”
“As academia, fathers of the university students and lecturer for years in practice, forcing lecturers to resume classes is not in the best interest of lecturers. Students may not get what they wanted as most lecturers may not be happy, if their demands are not met,” he said.
According to him, lecturers had suffered untold hardship from the government, as there is a need to iron out all grievances peacefully and amicably.
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