Femi Falana, a human rights attorney, has urged the Federal Government (FG) to approve the revised contract with the striking members of the Academic Strike Union of Universities (ASUU).
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria called on the leadership of ASUU and the current administration to pick up talks to terminate the protracted strike for the sake of all Nigerian students in a statement released on Sunday.
The Federal Government should be persuaded to terminate the protracted industrial action while urging both parties to pick up the negotiations in the interest of the nation.
He cited how negotiations with the union ended in a standstill, which destroyed the aspirations of many students, and accused the Federal Government (FG) of using blackmail to pressure ASUU.
“Instead of engaging in the diversionary tactics of blackmailing ASUU the Federal Government should ensure that the strike is called off by signing the Renegotiated Agreement with ASUU without any further delay,” Falana said.
“While calling on both sides to resume the negotiations in the interest of the country the Federal Government should be prevailed upon to end the prolonged industrial action.”
The rights attorney believes that rather than choosing the fascist course of prescribing unions, the Federal Government should commit to the faithful implementation of collective agreements struck with ASUU that are enforceable under the applicable provisions of the Trade Disputes Act.
Falana cited the FG/ASUU Agreements from 1992 and 2009, claiming that it was specifically specified that the proceeds from the sale of the Federal Government’s properties in Lagos that were abandoned when the Federal Capital was transferred to Abuja would be used to fund higher education in the nation.
He claims that the Federal Government has reversed course and is now giving away the assets to private parties and business entities.
According to him, several of the properties were sold to influential people and corporate entities, including a multinational corporation.
Falana requests that the Federal Government transfer certain properties to universities in accordance with the conditions of the FG/ASUU Collective Agreements, claiming that some of the properties have not yet been sold.