‘A cock and bull story,’ Ngige reacts to lawmaker’s claim on planned ban of ASUU under Buhari

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The former Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has dismissed a claim credited to a member of the House of Representatives, Aminu Goro, on the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Goro in a speech during the valedictory session of the House of Representatives on Tuesday in Abuja, alleged that there was a plan to de-register the union in 2022.

He added that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila’s intervention saved ASUU during its eight months strike last year.

It would be recalled that former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in October last year registered two splinter groups – National Association of Medical and Dental Academics and the Congress of Nigerian University Academics – in a bid to reduce ASUU’s influence in the nation’s university system.

However, in a statement issued by his media office, Ngige described the lawmaker’s claim as an outrageous fabrication.

He insisted that there was no plan to proscribe ASUU by the Buhari administration.

The former minister, who cited Section 7 of the Trade Unions Act 2004, said he did not need the president’s approval as the minister of labour to withdraw the certificate of registration of erring trade unions.

READ ALSO: ‘Don’t behave like ASUU,’ Ngige warns CONUA, NAMDA on strike

The statement read: “They (ASUU) were in default for five years. Another Section of the Trade Dispute Act, The Essential Services Act Cap T9 permits the President to proscribe any erring union involved in an illegal strike, but all through the 2022 ASUU strike neither the President nor any of his ministers, whether in Education or Labour, mooted such an idea because the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment had done the right thing by the transmission of an instrument on the issue to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria for adjudication in accordance with Section 17 of TDA, 2004.

“So, former President Buhari and his officials chose the path of the rule of law in dealing with the debilitating strike when conciliation failed instead of an arm-twisting proscription as alleged by Hon. Aminu Goro.

“Hon. Aminu’s narrative, which is really a cock and bull story, is designed maybe, to be sweet to the ears of the audience (his fellow outgoing members) and maybe, the outgoing speaker at the expense of other patriotic Nigerians, including the former president.

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