OAU students protest against prolonged ASUU strike
Scores of students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, yesterday prevented vehicular movement along Ife-Ibadan Expressway in Osun State to protest against the prolonged strike embarked upon by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The students, who converged on the busy road directly facing their campus gate, said they could not afford to continue staying at home, while the Federal Government reneges in acceding to demands of the striking lecturers.
The protesters, armed with Nigerian flags, banners and placards bearing varying inscriptions, such as, “Fund Education Now,” “Education is not a scam,” among others, marched along the Ife-Ibadan Expressway causing gridlock.
They vowed to continue the protest until their demands were met by the Federal Government.
Amid other chants of solidarity songs, the students, under the aegis of Fund Education Coalition, said government had failed education system.
Speaking on behalf of the students, Olugbade Majeed said they would continue the protest until the government signed the initial agreement it had with ASUU.
He said: “We are protesting because the government has failed the education system in Nigeria. And they have not met the demands of ASUU, which they signed since 2009. We have been at home for three months.
“This particular government has been showing non-chalant attitude towards education by engaging in electoral activities, while students are at home idle.
“We don’t want to be turned to criminal elements. We don’t want to be turned to yahoo yahoo. We don’t want to be turned to prostitutes and that’s why we are agitating for our rights.
“We are on the streets to let our voices be heard because we cannot continue to suffer in silence. Nothing has worked out under this government. No security. We are all aware that nowhere is safe. Yet, government does not deem it fit to respond positively to the challenges confronting the education sector in the country.”
“If there is proper education in Nigeria, there won’t be security threats as we’re having now because proper and well educated persons will shy away from criminal activities.”
Meanwhile, Osun State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Wale Olokode, was at the scene of the protest to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order.