The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has vowed to shut down all Federal Government roads as from Tuesday (today) in the Southwest should the lingering crisis between the government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU persists.
The students’ body made the call on Monday in Ibadan, while addressing journalists ahead of their street protest across the Southwest states.
The students who carried placards with various inscriptions, accused the lecturers of rigging and manipulating election for the politicians, urging the parties to reach a compromise before the students take to the streets.
Some of the inscriptions on their placards read: “Device other means of agitation, strikes don’t help us”, “Increased ASUU/FG face-off, a demonstration of craziness”, “At the end of every strike actions, only the student losses” and “Public tertiary institutions are dieing, stop the strike and revitalise our educations.”
Others read “No nation develop beyond it’s education and research, save Nigeria from total collapse”, “Age is irreversible, house rents are non refundable, stop disrupting our life plan”, “FG should learn to respect agreement”, “FG and ASUU should stop the madness”, “Students are your customers, ASUU/lecturers are FG company staff, FG is the MD/CEO” and “After strike actions, lecturers get paid, who pays Nigerian students for the time wastage and academic journey destroyed.”
Addressing newsmen at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Center, Iyaganku, Ibadan, the Southwest Coordinator of NANS, Fiyinfoluwa Tegbe, said the students have been taken for granted for too long as it is obvious no one cares about their future.
He said the students decided on the peaceful protest ahead of the main plan which might cripple so many things.
Tegbe said: “We are holding our peaceful demonstrating here today because of the lingering crisis between the ASUU and federal government which has been a reoccurring event over the years.”
“Unfortunately, we students are always at the receiving end. If the Federal Government and ASUU refused to resolve today (Monday), we won’t hesitate to go by the way of violence. It is going to be a violence for violence and war for war.”
“They cannot continue to be wasting our time. When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. And it is obvious we the students are suffering and no one cares about us.”
“We are calling on the Federal Government to learn how to respect agreement. We have seen in many occasions when the Federal Government and ASUU reached agreement but the Federal Government failed to fulfil the pledge. We are also calling on ASUU to have a decisive ways of spending their resources, even when their demands are met.”
“This is because we want to see the projects they are doing with the subvention they are receiving from the Federal Government.”
“Our people are complaining that they don’t see what they (ASUU) are doing with the money release to them. Meanwhile, it is the same members of ASUU that rig elections for politicians. Though we don’t have any issue with them because they are our fathers and teachers but we need to say the truth.”
“Again, ASUU members should have a decisive ways to deal with issues rather than going on strike all the time because they are wasting our time. We are appealing to the federal government and ASUU to resolve the issue and allow us to go back to our various classes.”
“All the attempt to send us back to the street will be resisted. The protest is holding across the country today. If the Federal government refused to settle today, we shall continue to return to street for protest until our demands are met.”
“The instruction from the national office of NANS is that all the federal roads should be blocked but as a coordinator, I have to consider many factors including security implications before given such instruction to block all the roads.”
“If peradventure ASUU and Federal Government refused to make up today, we will block all the federal roads tomorrow (Tuesday).