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The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has expressed resolve to sue the Federal Government over the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
NANS argued that the strike which has rendered university students idle and extended their expected period of graduation is actionable and they will be seeking redress in court for their members.
This was stated by Sunday Asefon, National President of NANS, in a statement issued in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State.
Although Asefon aligned with the view of Mallam Adamu Adamu, the Education Minister, that students should be compensated, he, however, disagreed that ASUU should not be held responsible.
He stated that the Federal Government being the employer should be held liable under the existing situation.
Asefon said, “Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to the Minister of Education, 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 Mallam 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 paid across our tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
“It is an abuse and playing on our collective intelligence to suggest that students should sue employee for protesting bad working conditions and not the employer, who is the proprietor of our schools and the beneficiary of the exorbitant fees we paid.
“Since Nigerian students do not think like the Minister, since we can separate what is right from wrong, we will yield to the advice, by exploring legal windows for compensation for our students over 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, extra year resulting to miss of NYSC service opportunity are liabilities that can be quantified and accounted for.
“We have, therefore, decided to take the advice of the Minister and seek legal redress for the liabilities suffered. We will consult with our legal advisers to see what options are available for us to explore legally against the Federal Government, and the Minister of Education,” he said.