Senate President Ahmad Lawan yesterday described the 2009 agreements the Federal Government reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as unrealistic.
He spoke at the National Assembly in Abuja during a meeting with the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), facilitated by founder, Vision Africa and the Bishop, Methodist Diocese of Umuahia, Sunday Onuoha.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 demanding, among other things, that the government implement the agreements reached with it.
Lawan asked the NANS to shelve its plan to disrupt political activities in Abuja, saying the National Assembly would intervene.
He said: “There’s no way the government can handle that agreement. It’s a contentious issue because some people only wanted ASUU to go back to the classes. The federal government must always remain truthful because I don’t see how they’ll get that money.
“We’re going to intervene. We’ll bring ASUU and the federal government back to the negotiating table. Stop the planned protest so that we can bring everybody to the table. Give us a chance to do that believing that we’re going to find a solution. We’ll start the negotiation again.
“Don’t disrupt the activities of political parties. We don’t need to do that. Let’s avoid confrontation. When we emphasize consultation, it’s much easier for us. We’ll be together with you. We’ve taken the prayer, we’ve endorsed it and we’ll work for it.”
He also called on ASUU to suspend the strike, saying “There’s no way they can negotiate when they are on strike. I want to promise you that we’ll push from the legislative angle so that together, we’ll resolve the issue.”
NANS President, Asefon Sunday Adedayo, had threatened that students would disrupt political activities in the FCT unless the issue of ASUU strike was resolved.
He alleged that the government prioritised political activities at the detriment of students.