Lagos-based lawyer and rights activist, Bamidele Aturu, on Tuesday, stated that the only way to rescue higher education in the country is for the Federal Government and its officials to begin immediate implementation of the agreement it voluntarily reached with the academics, adding that except the agreement was respected, higher education was doomed in Nigeria.
The activist said this in a statement entitled, ‘Implementation of FGN-ASUU agreement: The only way to save higher education in Nigeria.’
He said: “We may have to return to the suggestion made by Professor Soyinka many years ago that we should close down all the universities and declare a state of emergency.
“When the sage first made that suggestion, it looked unrealistic and alarmist. Now, it is clear that we are pretending to have higher education.
“What takes place in our dilapidated universities is little better than kindergarten education, if we must be honest with ourselves,” he noted.
He further stated that it was unacceptable that the Federal Government should attempt to bully ASUU to accept that it could renege on the agreement as it pleased, as it was doing at the moment.
According to him, the expenditure profile of the government and politicians did not show that the government was unable to meet the financial requirements of the agreement.
He pointed out that in a country where politicians purchased private jets at will and send their children to private primary schools overseas, only the politicians would believe the lie that the government could not afford to fund higher education in the manner requested by ASUU-FGN agreement.
The lawyer also said that he found it amazing that the Federal Government allowed the ASUU strike to continue without any serious attempt to resolve the impasse and reiterated the need for the government to respect the agreement it signed with ASUU.
Aturu said that once an agreement had been reached by parties, it ought to be respected and implemented and if there was any intervening factor or reason that made full implementation of the agreement impossible, then the government and ASUU must agree as to the way forward.
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