ASSU/FG impasse: NANS to stage nationwide protest

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has resolved to organise a nationwide protest to press home its demand for the immediate reopening of all universities across the country.

This is part of resolutions reached in a communiqué jointly signed and made available to journalists by Mr Salahudeen Lukman (ABU Zaria) Mr Danladi Jonah (Modibo Adama Federal University, Yola),  Mr Nwafor Joshua (Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki) and others.

The communiqué said that the continued strike was an organised crime against students and their educational pursuits.

It said that NANS, with no hesitation declares 14-day ultimatum for both parties (ASUU and FG) to resolve their impasse for campuses to re-open or risk mass protest.

According to the statement, #EndASUUStrike protest targets at shutting  down the nation’s economy.

 “NANS declares the necessity of a minimum of two academic sessions school fees waiver for Nigerian students in both state and federal institutions in the spirit of COVID-19 palliative to ameliorate the economic effects of the lockdown occasioned by the global pandemic.

“This is to avert mass drop-out of students which may increase crime and criminality among youths in the country.

“That the government has failed to prioritise education, hence the failure to deploy necessary fund for complete overhauling of education sector and total revitalisation of university education in Nigeria,” the statement reads in part.

The association noted that governments had not earmarked meaningful budgetary allocation to the sector in line with the recommendation of UNESCO which pegs education budgetary allocation floor at 26 per cent.

According to the student body, the low budgetary allocation to education is the root of incessant strikes by the academic staff unions in all Nigerian tertiary institutions.

“That NANS has affirmed the perpetual and continued industrial actions by ASUU as the only tool to press home her demands as an organised crime against students’ career and educational pursuits.

“Consequently, NANS with no hesitation declares 14 days ultimatum for both ASUU and FG to resolve their impasse for our campuses to re-open or risk mass protest tagged #EndASUUStrike  nationwide.”

The students are worry that both government and ASUU lose nothing at the end of every strike, as teachers’ salaries, promotions and other emoluments flow uninterrupted, but students lose irrevocably semesters and years of schooling.

“Nigerian students are the greatest losers as their career are delayed, stay on campus extended, house rent/hostel fee incurred, NYSC age limit exceeded, Federal/state job age requirement exceeded, among other negative effects and impacts on general life plan of an average Nigerian student.”

The students consider these development as “deliberate wickedness”.

“That NANS, on behalf of Nigerian students shall approach the Federal High Court to seek legal redress on ASUU and FG in demand for compensation/damages for Nigerians students’ time wastage, life plan disruption and career delay.

“These shall include; mandatory alternative modalities for ASUU to press home her members’ demand without interrupting academic calendar.

“NYSC age limit extension, mandatory removal of age limit for Federal and State job employment, unconditional two academic session, school fees waiver among others respectively.’’

The statement said that the leadership of NANS, led by Comrade Chidi Ilogebe would proceed to have a press conference to address Nigerian students, federal government and ASUU on their positions and next line of action as resolved therein.