Femi Falana, a lawyer and human rights activist, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to accept the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and terminate the ongoing industrial action by using money stolen by dishonest government officials.
“President Buhari collect money from 10 of your people, 10 looters to resolve this problem,” Mr Falana said. “One of them was charged on Friday. The man has stolen N1.9 billion, one person. There are those who have stolen more, there are those who are stealing more.”
“Let them stop deceiving our people that there is no money. A few of them, about 400 took loans from our banks, called them toxic loans, N5.4 trillion is owed,” Mr Falana said during the Nigeria Labour Congress solidarity protest with ASUU in Lagos on Tuesday.
Since February, public colleges across the nation have been closed due to the ongoing ASUU strike, trapping hundreds of thousands of students at home.
The union claimed that succeeding administrations had not carried out a 2009 agreement, and it has urged Mr. Buhari to use the Universities Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) to pay academic earned allowance (EAA) and other salaries for university staff rather than the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System.
Nigeria Labour Congress rallied on Tuesday in support of ASUU across the nation, urging Mr. Buhari to accede to their requests so that students could resume their studies. Lagos, Jos, Akure, and other cities around the nation all saw protests.
ASUU was unfairly pressuring the Buhari administration to carry out an agreement that was made with prior “incompetent” Peoples Democratic Party administrations, according to presidential spokeswoman Garba Shehu a few weeks ago.
“Don’t forget that at the heart of these problems is a 2009 agreement between the then government, which incompetently signed an agreement that they had no capacity to deliver upon. So, why is Buhari being held by the neck? What happened in the past?” Mr Shehu asked.