Amidst the ongoing ASUU strike action which was extended on Monday, 9th May 2022, University of Ilorin students conducted a peaceful protest on Tuesday to express their dissatisfaction as regards the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ industrial strike.
Similarly, students from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife staged a peaceful protest in response to ASUU’s extension of the 12-week strike action, in front of The PUNCH Place on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
While protesting, the students bemoaned their inability to complete their academic activities due to the strike and threatened that if the government allows the continuation of the strike, they will boycott the 2023 general election.
UNILORIN students stated their plan to take the protest to major locations such as the Government House, roads connecting Ilorin Airport, the state House of Assembly, the Federal Secretariat, police headquarters, and the Department of State Services, if the meeting between ASUU and the Federal Government does not bring a resolution to the ongoing strike.
Taofeek Waliu, The Students Union President told journalists that the protest was intended to raise awareness among stakeholders and members of the public.
He said in his words; “We want to graduate. The Federal Government should meet ASUU’s demands. We don’t plan to move around town today. We hope that soon, the ASUU strike will be a thing of the past whereby about-to-be graduates can graduate and 300 Level students can move up, and so on.
“However, if nothing fruitful comes out after the Federal Government’s meeting with 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 over the lingering strike.
“This is just to send a message to the government that we are tired and they should meet ASUU’s demands.”
Salman Yisa, the state chairman of the National Association of Nigerian Students, called on state governors to intervene, stating that the issue on ground is beyond the Federal Government.
OAU students, who protested in front of The PUNCH Place said they did so because they believed their grievances would be publicised.
Olayiwola Folarin, The President of the OAU Student Union Government (SUG), described their protest as a warning, adding that they have plans to hit the streets if nothing was done soonest.
Dada Arafat, The Student Union’s Welfare Officer also said, “We are in solidarity with ASUU, appealing for the reopening of schools and provision of funds meant for laboratories and structures.” while the union’s Clerk, Odetunde Dickson, added that students were tired of constant industrial action.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO MEET WITH ASUU ON MAY 16
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may meet with the government on May 16, as disclosed by Dr. Gbolahan Bolarin, The Chairman of the Federal University of Technology, Minna chapter of ASUU, and member of the union’s National Executive Council.
Bolarin said, “I am aware there will be a meeting coming up next week from May 16 with the government, but we are not aware of any invitation from the Minister of Labour and Employment. Holding a meeting is not the issue, the most important thing is the implementation.
“They will call us for meetings and then say the government does not have the money. When aviation declared strike, they settled it because they are mostly affected. Once our leaders are not affected, they do not care. When bad fuel was imported, they did not really care. Our leaders are not sincere, the day the government becomes sincere, issues will be settled.
“We have given them 12 weeks and we hope that they will resolve the issues within this window. This is something they can resolve within a day if they are serious.”
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