ASUU strike: NANS begins mass protest

Minister of Labour, now turned presidential aspirant, says the Federal Government does not have the funds to meet ASUU demands

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has reaffirmed that there would be no going back on the mass action declared by the association to ensure that the nation’s economy is grounded and that no political activities including primaries by political parties take place in Abuja or any part of the country until the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is called off.

Public Relations Officer of NANS, Comrade Victor Ezenagu, in an interview with Channels TV in Abuja on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, gave an update on the national action declared by the leadership of the association on Monday, May 9, 2022, saying protests have commenced already on Tuesday in some states of the federation.

The Ogun and Oyo axis of the NANS have also warned that they would be joining the protest on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, to block the Lagos-Ibadan highway to demand an end to the strike actions.

Ezenagu vowed that every day all federal roads would be blocked for more than three hours, airports shut down and the economy of the country is grounded until the campuses were reopened for students to resume their classes.

He said it was insensitive for ASUU to go on a warning strike for more than three months and nothing is done by the Federal Government to resolve it, saying instead that what is happening is that politicians are frolicking about “doing politics when the students are in anguish at home.”

“We have resolved that we have to take our destinies into our hands. The leadership of NANS has resolved that there will be no political activities, especially party primaries in Abuja and other parts of the country. The mass action is in all the 36 states of the Federation and FCT.

“You cannot be a hunting game when your house is on fire. What is government? Government is about responding to the needs of the people and their welfare. ASUU cannot be on strike for three months and nothing is being done by the government to end it.

“The mass protest actually started today (Tuesday) in almost eleven states. It started at the University of Lagos and others are joining. We will block all federal roads, shut down airports and indeed the economy of Nigeria until the universities are reopened for students to resume classes,” the NANS spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, the Ogun and Oyo axis of the NANS has vowed to join the protest on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, to block the Lagos-Ibadan highway to demand an end to the strike actions.

In a joint statement by Comrade Kehinde Damilola Simeon, Chairman NANS Ogun Joint Campus Committee (JCC) Axis and Comrade Adeleke Quadri Abidemi, Chairman NANS Oyo JCC Axis, the students have resolved to mobilise forces in a protest to demand an end to the strike by the Unions.

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The statement read in part: “To this, we shall be staging a protest on Wednesday, 11th of May, 2022 to block the Lagos-Ibadan highway to demand an end to the strike actions. This is therefore a clarion call to all Nigerian students, civil societies, and mass of people to join us at the barricade.”

Why is ASUU on strike?

ASUU started a one-month warning strike on February 14, 2022, to demand that the Federal government fulfil the 2009 agreement.

The agreement signed by the FG with the union requires that the government commit N200 billion annually for five years to the revitalisation of the sector. To meet this segment of the ASUU demand, the Federal Government must cough out N1 trillion.

The union also said the government refused to include earned academic allowances in the 2022 budget as promised.

Chris Ngige, minister of labour now turned presidential aspirant, says the federal government does not have the funds to meet some of the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

 

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