UNILORIN students protest against ASUU strike
Hundreds of University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) students, yesterday, embarked on a peaceful protest to express their anger over the ongoing industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The students, during the march, said they planned to take the agitation to the Government House, Ilorin airport access roads, House of Assembly, federal secretariat, police headquarters, Directorate of State Services (DSS), among other places, if the meeting between the lecturers and the Federal Government deadlocked.
They lamented their continued stay at home due to the strike, calling on the government to meet ASUU’s demands to enable them complete their academic activities on time.
While caricaturing the National Anthem in different sad postures – sitting, squatting and prostrating (instead of standing) – to vent their anger, the students said they would not have anything to do with the general elections, if the strike action was not called off.
Men and officers of the DSS, police and Man O War manned strategic locations around the institution and provided security for the peaceful protesters.
The Students Union Government (SUG) President of UNILORIN, Taofik Waliu, told newsmen that the protest was aimed at creating awareness among Nigerians on their sadness over the lingering ASUU strike.
“We are tired. We want to graduate. The Federal Government should listen to ASUU’s demands. We don’t plan to move around town today. We hope that, soon, the strike will be a thing of the past.
“However, if nothing fruitful comes out after the meeting of government and ASUU this week, we will move en masse continuously with other students of 10 educational institutions in the state to block roads to various places in the state capital to register our displeasure.”
Also, the state chairman of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Salman Yisa, called on state governors to intervene, arguing that “the issue has gone beyond the Federal Government.”
He added: “Our house rents have lapsed. Landlords have issued quit notices to many of us. Many 100 Level students are yet to know their fate, yet the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) is still conducting exams for new admission seekers.”
“We want an end to this persistent strike. If by next week, we don’t see an end to this strike, Nigerians will not find it easy. It is going to be tough and massive.”