Lagos lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has advised the Federal Government to discard the idea of inviting former President Olusegun Obasanjo to mediate in the Academic Staff Union of Universities crisis, saying the move would not solve the problem.
Falana counseled the government to urgently reorder its priority and provide adequate funds to restore the lost glory of our universities. He said such move would compel ASUU to end the strike.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday titled: “The Federal Government Should Stop ASUU Strike Now!,” the activist recalled that there was a time the universities were shut down for six months under Obasanjo and that instead of providing funds to run the universities, the former president and his deputy, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar granted licences for establishment of “private” universities to themselves.
Falana cautioned that the impression should not be created that the ASUU strike has been allowed to drag on because top government officials have their children and wards in private schools at home and abroad.
According to him, it is “abnormal” for government to complain of inadequate funds for revamping the universities.
He said, “The Minister of Finance and the coordinator of the country’s economy, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has made President Goodluck Jonathan to believe that the economy would collapse if the federal government implements the 2009 FG/ASUU Agreement. Did Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala and Mr. Lamido Sanusi not say that the economy would collapse if the illegal price of N141 per litre of petrol was not sustained? When the Nigerian people forced the federal government to reduce the price to N97 did both voodoo economists resign like their counterparts would have done in the Brettonwood institutions?”