THE National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Southwest Zone D has condemned the statement credited to the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, asking students not to disrupt political activities over the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Students had begun to stage protests in different parts of the country, threatening to stall all political activities until the Nigerian government came to a resolution with their lecturers.
Lawan on Tuesday while meeting with NANS President, Sunday Ashefon alongside other officials of the union appealed to them to continue on the path of consultation and avoid confrontation.
Reacting, Adegboye Emmanuel Olatunji, Coordinator of NANS (Zone D) said nothing will stop the student body from shutting down the country and disrupting all commercial activities until ASUU is called for negotiation by the government and schools are reopened.
Olatunji asked why Lawan was just coming out after students had been at home for over 85 days.
The statement read, “The Leadership of National Association of Nigerian Students has frowned on the statement made by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, saying that students should avoid confrontation but should rather continue the consultation exercise.
“It sounds obnoxious to hear such a statement and it is not worthy of note for the Senate President to come out after many days students had been on the street roaming, campuses closed. We have made a lot of consultations long before now, done a lot of press conferences, granted interviews on different dailies and nothing was done to open back our schools.
“We have not done bad should we confront at a time like this. We have exhausted all the Cs of Aluta and the last C which is Confrontation is what we are prepared for now.
“If disrupting political activities will make our schools to be open, we shall do it and heaven will not fall. We can’t continue to consult till the world comes to an end. We can’t continue to consult when the strike is going to 100 days. We can’t continue to consult when the Federal Government is not ready to take charge and take necessary actions.
“We cannot continue to consult when people at the helm of affairs are busy going about to get their party ticket for the presidency, leaving behind the core responsibilities they are saddled with. Political gladiators chose to focus more on the forthcoming election and put our future on the brim.
“How we wish they can utilize that kind of energy and efforts in solving ASUU/FG long time issues but the reverse is the case. Mr Senate President, Sir, Ahmad Lawan; a minute mistake can metamorphose into a lifetime regret and as such we shall shut down all commercial activities of the country and as well stampede all political parties’ primary elections.
“We are bold to say that nothing will stop the shutting down the country and disruption of all commercial activities until ASUU is called for negotiation by FG and our schools are open. This problem is long overdue and we want it fixed once and for all, as such, we are ready to pay the price to ensure the problem is fixed.
“Our time has been wasted as Nigerian students which they cannot make reparation for and we cannot allow it to continue like that. We are tired of all this gay saying from political gladiators. We need quick intervention and implementation so that we can return back to school.”
ASUU had embarked on a four-week warning strike on February 14 to press home its demands, with the prominent ones being the renegotiation of the ASUU/FG 2009 agreement and the sustainability of the university autonomy by deploying UTAS to replace the government’s “imposed” (IPPIS).
Other demands include the release of the reports of visitation panels to federal universities, distortions in salary payment challenges, funding for revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowance, poor funding of state universities and promotion arrears.
On March 14, the association extended the strike action by another two months to afford the government more time to address all of its demands.
The union in a statement by its President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke on Monday said it would be rolling over the ongoing strike for another 12 weeks.
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