Students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State and the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Enugu State, yesterday, staged a protest against the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Last Monday, ASUU had added another three months to the strike, meaning if nothing is done students would be at home for another three months..
The students who barricaded major roads in Ile-Ife carried placards with inscriptions such as “Fund Education Now,” and “Education is not a Scam” among others.
Converging under the aegis of the Fund Education Coalition, the students blocked major roads and obstructed vehicular movement for hours chanting anti-government songs and observing prayers on major highways.
They accused President Muhammadu Buhari of neglecting education and focusing on who succeeds him in 2023.
They vowed to continue the protest until the government accede to ASUU’s demand and end the strike.
One of the protesters, Olugbade Mojeed, said the strike had forced some students to engage in vices. “We are protesting because government has failed the education system. This government has been showing nonchalant attitude to education while they focus on electoral activities. We say no to incessant strikes and we say no to lack of funding for the education system.”
Also, students under the aegis of the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) in Nsukka, grounded human and vehicular movement in the university town and its environs.
The protest started from the first gate of the university through Enugu Road to Opi junction where the protesters blocked the 9th Mile Makurdi Express Highway for many hours making movement in and out of Nsukka town difficult..
The over 3,000 protesters sang solidarity songs while some had placards with inscriptions, such as, “Is it a crime to be a student in public institution in Nigeria?,” “No suspension of ASUU strike no party primaries”, “We are tired of staying at home, FG should settle with ASUU so that students will go back to school”, “FG and ASUU are playing politics with our future”, “Politicians have N100 million to buy election form but FG says no money to meet ASUU demands,” among others.
Leader of the protesters, Emmanuel Obi, chairman, Joint Campus Committee (JCC) Enugu State, said NANS would sustain the protests across the country until ASUU suspends the strike.
“The NANS national leadership has directed students in the country to block airports, major highways, Federal and state secretariats, minsters offices and road leading to Aso Rock by next week,” he said.