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The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, yesterday started a daily protest in Abuja over the continuous shut down of the nation’s universities as a result of the strike embarked upon by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
Speaking in a telephone chat with Vanguard, the National President of NANS, Sunday Asefon, said students from across the country were already converging on Unity Fountain, Abuja, to express their displeasure with the ongoing industrial action in the university system.
“Yes, the two-week ultimatum we gave the government and ASUU to resolve their differences and allow Nigerian students to go back to their classes has lapsed and nothing has been done. Right now, we are mobilising at Unity Fountain here in Abuja and after that we may have to go into the University of Abuja to let our colleagues in.
“Nigerian students are already feeling frustrated. Lecturers are on strike, non-academic staff have started their own warning strike too. Students who want to register are not able to do so. Those who want to collect their transcripts and certificates are not able to do so too.
“We are not happy with the situation and it seems both the government and the university workers are not interested in the welfare of Nigerian students,” he said.
Read Also: BREAKING: ASUU Extends Strike For 2 Months
Asked what would be the next line of action of the students, Asefon said the daily protest would continue, adding that a meeting of the leadership of the union would periodically assess the situation and direct their colleagues on what next to do.
Also speaking on the ongoing strike, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, told our correspondent that resolving the face-off lies with the government.
“We gave them eight weeks to respond and two weeks have passed now. As we talk, they have not responded or call our members for any meeting. They have now conducted their party’s national convention and we hope they would now have the time to do the needful.
“Nigerians should hold the government responsible for what is happening. It is a matter of priority and it is clear that the government is not according any priority to the education sector. They have the money to fritter on while elephant project like another runway at the Abuja Airport,” he said.
In a related development, the non-teaching staff, under the aegis of the Non-Academic Staff Union, NASU, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, also commenced a two-week warning strike yesterday, thereby shutting down the university system.
Their grounds of embarking on the action are poor funding, the use of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS, as the payment platform in the university system, among others.
The eight-week strike by ASUU would lapse by May 13, while the non-teaching staff are warming up for a total strike after the two-week warning strike.
This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.