Femi Falana, a Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, has advised the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and federal government to restart negotiation in order to end the ongoing strike.
Falana stated this on Sunday, August 28 while expressing his displeasure over the ways and manners the federal government has handled the impasse so far.
The SAN blamed the federal government for resorting to blackmailing the university lecturers instead of finding a meeting ground for resolving the impasse. He recalled how the federal government and its representatives’ talks with ASUU ended in deadlock, a situation that, according to him, dashed the hopes of many students.
“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,” he said.
Besides, he urged the federal government to sign the renegotiated agreement with the striking ASUU members to end the industrial action for the interest of the country.
“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,” Falana stated.
Meanwhile, Ogoegbunam Kingdom, a youth and women development advocate has counselled students to be patient and prayerful as the strike enters 194 days and still counting.
Moreover, he urged students to encourage ASUU to soft pedal in its demands.
“The students should as well explore all options and hold the government accountable and as well encourage ASUU to soft pedal in its demands to enable a compromise between the union and the federal government,” he said.
Recall that ASUU went on a 30-day warning strike on February 14, and rolled over and re-rolled over for more than seven months and still counting.
Some of the demands of ASUU which the federal government is yet to meet include funding for the revitalisation of public universities, Earned Academic Allowances, use of the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) as against the use of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) platform and promotion arrears.
Though the federal government has agreed to jettisoned IPPIS, as a payment platform, other demands of the union such as salary are yet to be resolved, especially with the government insisting on a ‘no-work, no-pay’ approach to settling the impasse.
The executive director of the Platform for Youth and Women Development commenting on this admonished students to be “patient and prayerful” as “ASUU further engages the federal government to resolve the long lingering strike.