- Seems there is no going back from the camp of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)
- NANS has called upon the government to reach a favourable resolution with the members of ASUU
- ASUU, on the other hand, has reiterated their stand in the ongoing strike action
The students’ body also said it suspended its much-talked-about shutdown of the nation's airport because of the court order directing the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to return to classrooms.
Speaking exclusively to Legit.ng, the NANS southwest zonal coordinator, Comrade Tegbe Stephen Fiyinfoluwa, said they are in a difficult situation.
NANS has recently announced that it will shut down the nation's airports following the ongoing ASUU strike. The announcement was contained in a statement signed by its new president, Comrade Umar Faruk.
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Student protest in Lagos, block entrance to airport
Starting the protest from Lagos, activities at the airport were grounded last week as the students’ body shut down all roads leading to the airport located in Ikeja. Many were stranded, even as airlines shifted their flight schedules following the shutdown.
But a protest scheduled to hold in Abuja, the nation's capital, the next day could not hold. It's not yet clear what was responsible, but sources told Legit.ng that the threat by security operatives to the students made them put off the Abuja action.
According to the source:
"We got information that Abuja was under serious watch by security operatives. We even made an attempt but we realized the military had taken over major roads, especially the Kaduna- Abuja highway. They were everywhere, hence we suspended the rally.
"We did so to protect our students; I mean those of them who are willing to always come out when we call on them."
But since the Abuja protest was put off. Every other thing has gone quiet despite the continuation of the strike.
An order by the industrial court has directed ASUU to call off its 7 months strike. But the body has proceeded to the appeal court to question the industrial court's judgment. Since the move, ASUU has held on to its position that all agreements with the federal government must be met before the strike is called off.
On Monday morning, another directive from the National Universities Commission, NUC, asked all universities' Vice Chancellors to reopen their schools. It is yet to be seen if this new directive will work.
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Students are the victim of ASUU, government
But the students have said ASUU and the federal government have now put them in a difficult position. According to them, they are in the middle of this trouble taking all the blows.
Comrade Tegbe said:
"We are very resolute as Nigerian students. Whatever transpires between ASUU leadership and the federal government doesn't concern us. All we want is to go back to school.
''Just today, we got another information that the federal government has directed all vice Chancellors to reopen the universities. This looks like the federal government and ASUU are playing Nigerian students.
"But we have tried our best on our own side. We are not going to decide for ASUU and we not going to decide for the lecturers too. They are two parents that have failed us but we are very resolute. The only concern of our students right now is to resume back to school."
Questioning ASUU's insistence to remain on strike despite the new court order, he said ASUU can call off the strike at this point while other negotiations are ongoing.
"At this point, we are exhausted. All we want is for ASUU to call off this strike. When we go back to the streets now, they will say we have started again.
"We decided to suspend the shutting down of the nation's airport because of the new court order and we are waiting for ASUU's final decisions on the matter.
" We are now tired! We are tired of staying at home."
The nation's universities have been shut down for nearly 8 months over a disagreement between ASUU and the Nigerian government.
Despite the many protests by the Nigerian students, ASUU and the government have turned deaf ears to the plights of the students.
The federal government recently obtained an injunction, asking ASUU to reopen universities.
River of tears as 21 professors, senior lecturers die over ASUU Strike
Meanwhile, 21 senior lecturers, including professors, have reportedly died at the federal university of Calabar in Cross River state.
The report added that the development is the same across universities across the country.
Their deaths were due to the non-payment of their salaries by the government, as many of them do not have money to cater for different health challenges.