ASUU strike: Motorists stranded as students block Lagos-Ibadan expressway in protest
The leadership of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in the Southwest, yesterday, disrupted vehicular movement along the busy Lagos-Ibadan expressway, while protesting the seven-month strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The students, who gathered at the Sagamu interchange as early as 9:00a.m., blocked both sides of the highway, preventing traffic flow both inward and outwards Lagos.
Many travellers were trapped and commercial activities grounded following the protest, which lasted over six hours.
The protesters were led by NANS vice president, external affairs, Akinteye Babatunde; public relations officer, Giwa Temitope; Zone D coordinator, Adegboye Olatunji; Deputy Senate President, Ekundina Elvis, as well as Ondo, Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo Joint Council Coordinator, messrs Omotosho Surprise; Olusesi Samson; Kehinde Simeon and Adeleke Abidemi respectively.
The students, in their hundreds, demanded the immediate end to the strike urging the Federal Government to find a meeting point with the lecturers.
In their address, the students deplored inadequate funding of the sector by successive governments, saying President Mohammadu Buhari has not helped the situation as his administration has failed to revamp education as promised while assuming office.
“As it is today, no higher institution in Nigeria is world-class. Yet, our so-called public servants travel all over the world spending billions to send their wards abroad for studies. As major stakeholders, we are the ones who can save ourselves. We have monitored the yearnings of students from campus to campus through social media platforms and public writings. Students all over Nigeria stand with ASUU, our lecturers suffer the same hardship, staff quarters are as bad as students’ hostels.
“History is lost, we don’t even not know where we are coming from not to talk of knowing where we are headed. But we will not lament anymore. The new leadership in NANS is here to work with members to achieve our set aims and objectives. We believe that the students’ movement has its space in history. It is a task for which we vow to fulfill. We will never let Nigerian students down.”
In a statement read at the venue, the students passed a vote of no confidence on the ministers of education, Adamu Adamu, and his labour counterpart, Chris Ngige for their poor handling of issues.
They also called for improved funding of education and expressed their readiness to join forces with the striking lecturers to get positive results in the struggle.
“We call on the Buhari administration to pay all outstanding arrears and salaries of lecturers. The policy of “No work, no pay” is condemnable and non-acceptable. We will be mobilising all students to shut down the country, without excluding the Presidential villa.”
ASUU had embarked on strike since February 14 accusing the government of reneging on the agreements it reached to suspend its last industrial action in 2020.
ASUU also argued that the latest strike followed the government’s attitude towards renegotiation of salaries and allowances, as well as adoption of the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) payroll software.
The lecturers’ are also demanding funding for revitalisation of public universities and promotion arrears.