By IKULAJOLU ADESOLA
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has sent a strong warning to the Federal Government to act on the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) or face mass action.
It could be recalled that ASUU embarked on a nationwide indefinite strike on Monday to press home some of its demands that were not met by the Federal Government.
In a statement released by the Nation Public Relations Officer, Comr. Odebunmi Idowu the association affirmed that it has always shown great support for the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration but not satisfied with the treatment inflicted on the Nigerian students.
He said: “It is indubitable that the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari enjoyed the full support of Nigerian students during his campaign and after his victory, but the reward for such a staunch expression of support for his anti-corruption administration has been utter neglect, reproach and nonchalance.”
Comr. Idowu said that the association have been experiencing ‘sleepless night’ over the strike action in LAUTECH Kogi State University only to hear it spread across all Universities by ASUU and nothing positive is coming to stop the action.
“Even as we continued to have sleepless nights over the LAUTECH and KOGI STATE UNIVERSITY strike action, we were soon to be greeted by news of an encompassing strike across all Federal campuses by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The ASUU strike is currently underway with very little constructive dialogue towards its resolution in sight between both parties”, he said.
While lamenting the attitude of the Minister of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu, he added that the statement of the FG is also not encouraging.
“The apparent indifference of the Minister of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu, is cause for worry. “Even so, the widely circulated press release of the official spokesperson to President Muhammadu Buhari indicate the reluctance of this government to face up to the necessary task of reconciliation at hand,” Comr. Idowu lamented.
He, however, plead with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to act on the demands of ASUU so as to save the future of the Nigerian Students.
Comr. Idowu also added that that Prof Osinbajo who is an ‘Academician’ should be able to meet the demands of the union as a matter of urgency.
“It bears mentioning that the Acting President, Yemi Osibanjo, is an Academician and so we urge him to as a matter of urgency expedites the resolution of this industrial strike action by lecturers for the sake of the future of the Nigerian students.”
He highlighted the various demands of the association while rejecting the action of the government towards the industrial action.
“We refuse to lay down and be kicked about by the government over the ASUU strike so make the following DEMANDS:
- That the Federal Government employ appropriate measures to resolve the issue with ASUU or be ready to face mass action against it by NANS within 21 days.
- That the National Assembly (NASS) under the leadership of Sen. Bukola Saraki forfeit their 6.5billion car allowance for educational growth,”Comr. Idowu highlights.
He said that “ASUU should kindly consider meeting the Federal Government half-way, make room for concessions and negotiation for the sake of Nigerian students and the future of the country.”
The PRO noted that the Nigerians students are ready for a mass protest if the FG and ASUU do not resolve the issues.
He said: “We reiterate our preparedness to embark on a mass action protest against the FG in the ill-advised event of their continued intrepid response to such an emergency issue.”