BREAKING: Nigerian Students Storm Abuja, Block Major Roads Over Strike
Information reaching Naija News House says that Nigerian Students Storm Abuja, Block Major Roads Over Strike
Members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) have crippled commercial activities in the Federal Capital Territory, as they blocked some major highways in the nation’s capital.
The students, led by its President, Asefon Sunday, condemned the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
The protest began at the Unity Fountain, from where the protesters marched through several streets, causing gridlock and leaving motorists frustrated.
They carried banners and held placards with various slogans and shouted solidarity songs.
Speaking during the protest, Asefon said, “If education wasn’t freely given to them, they would not be in government. If education wasn’t given freely to them, they wouldn’t be professors today, we want to be professors as well in future, we want to be ministers, we want to be governors and president. But all these cannot be possible until our schools are opened. We are so disappointed in ASUU and Federal Government.”
The NANS President added that the extension of stay on campus won’t only affect academic journey but destabilise life plans.
“It is disheartening to note that the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) has gone on strike more than four years cumulatively since 1999. The consequences of this development are grave on the part of the students who are the victims of these incessant industrial actions embarked upon by ASUU as a result of labour disagreement with the Federal Government. The resultant effect of these incessant strikes is inconsistency in scholarship, research, and learning output,” he said.
“At the end of every strike action, ASUU members get their salary, government officials and politicians get their pay, Ministers in charge of the Ministry of Education and his counterpart in the Ministry of Labour get their pay and allowances for unproductive meetings with ASUU, but the students get nothing than the inability to get mobilised for NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) as a result of age limitation, limited job opportunities as a result of age limitation, untimely death of students traversing the poor Nigerian roads unnecessarily, all as a result of incessant ASUU strike.
“It is more worrisome that most of the industrial actions could have been avoided if the government has been responsible enough to fulfil promises/agreements freely entered with ASUU over the years and fulfil their part of the bargain. Public tertiary institution in Nigeria has taken a downward slope in recent year and there is an urgent need to fix the system. Many students no longer trust the education outcome of our tertiary institutions as a result of the incessant strike and infrastructural neglect from the government.
“These developments account for the high level of migration of Nigerian students abroad in search of stable and quality education. Many of our students are currently trapped in war-ravaged Ukraine as a result of the incessant strike in our universities and lack of adequate infrastructural development.
“We are therefore compelled to take the following positions: That the Federal Government must as a matter of urgency honour every agreement freely entered with ASUU and renegotiate areas that need renegotiation in good faith with ASUU while we call on ASUU to be open-minded, progressive, and be realistic in their terms.
“Federal Government must do all it takes to convince ASUU to suspend its strike and return to the classroom immediately to ensure continuity in the academic calendar We call on Federal Government to consider immediate and urgent investment in revitalizing public tertiary institutions in Nigeria to accommodate our growing population and the emerging needs of this century.
“We demand that Nigerian students who are the victims of the incessant ASUU strike must be represented in all negotiations between the Federal Government and ASUU. We also demand that government representatives and ASUU representatives at the negotiations must show proof that their children attended or are attending a public university in Nigeria. We, therefore, plead with ASUU to call off the strike while they devise new means of holding the government accountable without necessarily going on strike.”