Human rights activist and lawyer, Femi Falana, on Sunday called on the Federal Government to sign the renegotiated agreement with the striking members of the Academic Strike Union of University (ASUU).
In a statement, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria said both the leadership of ASUU and the Federal Government should resume negotiations in order to put an end to the lingering strike for the good of Nigerian students.
Saying that the Muhammadu Buhari-led government should be prevailed upon to end the lingering strike, Falana accused the government of the day of resorting to blackmailing ASUU.
He said, “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.
“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.”
He said that the Federal Government should commit itself to the faithful implementation of collective agreements reached with ASUU which are enforceable by virtue of the relevant provisions of the Trade Disputes Act instead of embracing the fascist option of prescribing union.
Falana made reference to the 1992 and 2009 FG/ASUU Agreements, which he said expressly stipulated that the revenue realised from the sale of the properties of the Federal Government abandoned in Lagos when the Federal Capital was moved to Abuja would be channelled towards the funding of tertiary education in the country.
According to him, the Federal Government has turned around to selling the properties to private individuals and corporate bodies at low giveaway prices.
The rights said that some of the properties were sold to powerful individuals and corporate bodies including a multinational corporation.
Noting that a number of the properties are yet to be sold, he asked the Federal Government to turn the yet-to-be sold properties over to the universities in line with the terms of the FG/ASUU Collective Agreements.