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Students protest, block Ibadan─Akure─Abuja Expressway over ASUU strike

Road Block on Akure-Ilesa Road Photo: Radio Nigeria

*The protesting students have accused the Federal Government and the striking lecturers of toying with the future, saying frequent disruption of academic activities has negatively impacted them

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Against the backdrop of the ongoing strike called by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) across the country, students from higher institutions of learning in Ondo State, South-West Nigeria, under the auspices of the National Association of University Students (NAUS) have protested over the situation.

The students who converged on the ever-busy Akure─Ilesa Road as early as 8 a.m., blocked the road causing vehicular traffic on the road while travellers were stranded for several hours, Nigerian Tribune report said.

The students, who are armed with placards of various inscriptions such as “End ASUU Strike Permanently Now,” “After Strike Government Officials Get Paid, Who Pays Nigerian Students for Time Wasted,” ‘Employment Comes with Age Limits,” “Age is Irreversible,” and “Stop Wasting our future”, among others.

Motorists travelling to nearby communities along the highway resorted to take alternative untarred routes, while the protesting students vowed to continue the protest until ASUU and the Federal Government reach a compromise, report said.

The students reportedly accused the Federal Government and the striking lecturers of toying with the future, saying frequent disruption of academic activities on the campuses of both the state and federal universities has negatively impacted them.

Esedere Abraham, Leader of the protesters, former Students’ Union President of the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), was quoted to have said that the students would continue to block some major roads within the state capital as long as the government and ASUU fail to resolve their differences.

Abraham also frowned on the incessant strike by the ASUU, noting that the academic union has gone on strike for more than four years between 1999 till date.

Students, he argued, should not be made to suffer any problem between ASUU and the Federal Government, urging the government and ASUU to find a lasting solution to the strike.

Shittu Folarin, Vice-Chairman of NAUS, Ondo State Chapter, said the students want to ensure this would be the last action by ASUU, describing as worrisome the industrial actions by the lecturers.

The Vice-Chairman  urged the Federal Government to fulfil its part of the bargain.

According to him, public tertiary institutions have been taking a downward slope in recent years and there is an urgent need to fix the system.

“Many parents no longer trust the education outcome of our tertiary institutions as a result of the incessant strike and infrastructural neglect from the government,” said Folarin.

ConsumerConnect reports the National Association of University Students is the highest decision making body for students studying in institution of higher learning from university cadre with 20 million members both in Nigeria and Diaspora.

The students’ body says it is fully committed to the mainstreaming of students and young leaders in governance at all levels with core interest of protecting the dignity and integrity of the students and uniting the students for academic excellence.

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