Poly, COE students threaten to storm national confab venue

The polytechnics and Colleges of Education students have threatened to take over the venue of the ongoing National Conference if the Federal Government failed to immediately resolve the prolonged strike by the staff unions of the institutions.

The National President of National Association of Nigerian Students, Comrade Yinka Gbadebo, has also asked the delegates and leadership of the conference to intervene in the resolution of the impasse.

Speaking while making his contribution at the plenary on Thursday, Yinka told the confab that he had personally intervened to stop the students from storming the venue, and pleaded with the leadership of the conference to summon the Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, to come and explain why Nigerian students in polytechnics and colleges of education are at home over nine months.

He also proposed Unionism Act, which will make it compulsory for student unions in all tertiary institution in the country.

He said he was unhappy that after few days of deliberation no delegate had mentioned the issue of the strike that has crippled academic activities at both polytechnics and colleges of education for over nine months.

According to him, education must be put in the front burner to build a great nation that everybody is yearning for.

Also, a former Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, in her contribution, said the presidential speech was very rich and that it would serve as veritable framework for whatever deliberations that would take place at the conference.

She also expressed the need to invest more in education and provide employment opportunities for the youth, adding that countries that have made it today invested well in education and youth.

According to her, Nigeria’s economy should be diversified with every state and region harnessing their natural resources to forestall over reliance on oil revenue.
ASUP president, Mr Chibuzor Asomugha, has already called on President Goodluck Jonathan to personally intervene in the resolution of the crisis after the union has said they no longer have confidence in the resolution of the logjam.

He equally called for a fresh negotiating Committee to be headed by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Chukwuemeka Wogu, for early and honest resolution of the strike.

ASUP president disclosed that the Federal Government has since March 21, stopped paying staff salaries, under the ‘no work no pay rule’, forcing the union to device several measures to sustain its members.

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