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Security operatives shoot, disperse students protesting ASUU strike

By Charles Coffie Gyamfi (Abeokuta) and Opeyemi Babalola (Lagos)
18 May 2022   |   4:04 am
Security operatives in Akure, Ondo State, yesterday, fired gunshots and dispersed students protesting against the elongated strike by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

ASUP strike may extend beyond 2022, union warns FG

Security operatives in Akure, Ondo State, yesterday, fired gunshots and dispersed students protesting against the elongated strike by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The students from Federal University of Technology, Adekunle Ajasin University and Olusegun Agagu University of Technology had barricaded the Ilesha-Akure highway.

A video of the incident trending online showed some of the protesters scampering for safety as the operatives fired shots.

In another clip, a person was seen complaining over public address equipment scattered on the ground, saying: “The Nigerian Army! They came here and started shooting. See all our things. See what the Nigerian Army did to us!

“The Nigerian Army that should protect us. See our equipment! We were here peacefully. We are fighting for our rights. See all our things!”

The Nigerian Army was yet to issue any statement on the matter as of press time.

MEANWHILE, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), yesterday, declared its members were prepared to extend the ongoing strike, if Federal Government fails to meet its demands.

National President, Mr. Anderson Ezeibe, disclosed this while addressing members during a meeting at Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State.

He lamented that almost one year after the Federal Government signed a Memorandum of Action (MoA) with the union, it has failed to honour agreements.

The union had declared a two-week warning strike, following its emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, last Wednesday, to protest non-release of approved revitalisation fund for the sector; non-release of 10 months arrears of the new minimum wage and non-release of the reviewed normative instruments for institution/management and programmes accreditation, among others.

The ASUP president recalled that the union went on a three-month strike in 2021 to protest government’s refusal to meet its demands.

Ezeibe noted that the current strike signals the first layer of demonstration against what he described as irresponsibility and lack of commitment to improving the education sector.

He urged members to prepare for more strike actions, saying: “The strike is not ending after two weeks. That is the point, and the strike may not even end this year.”

He said: “It is only in Nigeria that you go on strike to sign an agreement, you also go on strike to implement the agreement. We draw the attention of the Nigerian government and the public to the level of irresponsibility being displayed by agencies of government and functionaries of government in these agencies on our issues. What we are seeing is a clear absence of commitment by the government.”