Students at the University of Ilorin held a peaceful rally on Tuesday to express their disappointment at the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, promising that they will have nothing to do with the 2023 general election if the government allows the strike does not continue. .
That was just when students from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, staged a similar protest on the strike in front of The PUNCH Place on the Lagos-Ibadan highway, Ogun State.
The PUNCH reported how ASUU on Monday extended its 12-week strike to allow enough time for the Federal Government to meet its demands.
UNILORIN students said during the protest that they intend to take their protest to major places such as the Government House, roads connecting Ilorin Airport, State Assembly, Federal Secretariat, Police Headquarters and the Department of Public Services, among others, if the meeting between ASUU and the Federal Government did not resolve the ongoing crisis this week.
The protesting students lamented their continued stay at home due to the strike and called on the Federal Government to comply with ASUU’s demands to enable them to complete their academic activities.
Taofik Waliu, president of the Student Union, spoke to journalists and said the protest was aimed at creating awareness among stakeholders and members of the public.
Waliu said: “We want to graduate. The federal government must comply with ASUU’s demands. We do not plan to move in the city today. We hope that the ASUU strike will soon be a thing of the past, allowing prospective graduates to graduate and move up 300 Level students, and so on.
“However, if nothing fruitful comes out after the Federal Government’s meeting with ASUU this week, we and the masses will be constantly moving with other students from 10 educational institutions in the state to block roads to various places in the state’s capital around us. dissatisfaction with the ongoing strike.
“It’s just sending a message to the government that we are tired and that they have to comply with ASUU’s demands.”
The state president of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Salman Yisa, called on state governors to intervene, adding that the issue falls outside the Federal Government.
OAU students, who stormed the entrance of The PUNCH, said they did so because they believe their grievances will be made public.
The president of the OAU Student Union government, Olayiwola Folarin, in an interview with one of our correspondents described their actions as a warning, adding that they have plans to enter the streets if nothing is done as soon as possible not.
The union’s welfare official, Dada Arafat, said: “We are in solidarity with ASUU and call for the reopening of schools and provision of funds intended for laboratories and structures.”
The union’s clerk, Odetunde Dickson, added that students were tired of ongoing industrial action.
OAU recommends students to evacuate residence halls
However, the management of OAU on Tuesday ordered all students to evacuate their residences.
A statement signed by the Dean, Division of Student Affairs, prof. IO Aransi, dated 10 May 2022, says students must comply with the assignment no later than Friday, 13 May.
According to him, the assignment was a follow-up to the latest development over the ongoing strike initiated by all the staff unions in the country’s federal universities.
The statement reads in part: “For this purpose, all undergraduate and postgraduate students in the residences are instructed to vacate their respective residences and go home until further notice.
“It is our hope that issues necessitating the strike will be resolved as soon as possible.”
Government meets ASUU 16 May
Meanwhile, ASUU can meet with the government side on 16 May.
The Chairman of the Federal University of Technology, Minna Division of ASUU, and member of the union’s National Executive Council, Dr. Gbolahan Bolarin, revealed this in an interview with The PUNCH in Abuja.
Bolarin said: “I am aware that there will be a meeting with the government next week from May 16, but we are not aware of any invitation from the Minister of Labor and Employment. To hold a meeting is not the issue, the most important is the implementation.
“They will call us for meetings and then say the government does not have the money. When aviation declared strike, they ended it because they were mostly affected. Once our leaders are not affected, they do not care. When bad fuel was introduced, they did not really care. Our leaders are not sincere, the day the government becomes sincere, things will be settled.
“We gave them 12 weeks and we hope that they will solve the problems within this window. It is something they can resolve within a day if they are serious. ”