September 18, (THEWILL) – Following the seven months impasse between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has threatened to ground activities at international airports across the country.
Converging in Akure, the Ondo State capital over the weekend, the national body of NANS decried the attitude of the Federal Government towards the striking lecturers, as well as education as a whole.
According to the students, the four-day shutdown of busy highways and expressways had been a success, hence the move to disrupt international travels as from September 19, 2022, in order for the bourgeois and the government to feel the pains that they have subjected students to in the past seven months.
Speaking with newsmen, the Chairman, NANS National Task Force on ‘End ASUU Strike Now,’ Ojo Raymond Olumide, disclosed that students were already tired of pleading with both parties over the need to end the strike.
Olumide emphasised that the airports that will be occupied will remain grounded until the strike is called off, adding that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration must pay all outstanding arrears and salaries of the lecturers.
“We shall begin another round of protest next week by storming the airspaces to #OccupyTheAirports. We want to let the world know about the pains and anguish students are going through.
“Nigerian students whose parents create the commonwealth cannot continue to be suffering at home alongside our lecturers, while the few who gain from our sweats and blood have their kids abroad jollying and flexing.
“We call on students to rise and join us as we take our destinies into our hands. Our demands remain consistently clear and simple. We Call on ASUU leadership for a meeting as soon as possible to discuss Solidarity actions and plan for the next phase of the struggles.
“Nigerian Students are not subjected to security agencies and we haven’t seen any step from them to avert the ASUU strike. He said they could not tell them that they were not aware of what is going on.
“Being on the road for the past four days and had garnered a lot of solidarity. Grounding the airport is for us to get solidarity and we will keep on grounding the local and international airports they know the effect of us grounding the airport, the only thing we request from them is to open our campuses back.
“They should give enough budgetary allocation, we are not asking for 26 percent, we are asking for 22 percent.
“We pass a vote of No Confidence on both Ministers of Labour and Education. We Call on the Buhari government to pay all outstanding arrears and salaries of the lecturers.
“The policy of “No Work No Pay” is a Fascist one; it is, therefore, condemnable and nonacceptable to all the millions of students in Nigeria.
“We will, by this statement, not beg again. We shall be mobilising all students to shut down the country. No Education! No Movement!”, he threatened.
Olumide, who berated the Minister of Works, Babatunde Raji Fashola, over his purported comment on the barricade of federal roads by the students, said that the strike had continued to linger due to the absence of children of the political class in public universities.
According to Olumide, “Through Nigerians, the Federal and state governments became and are still uncomfortable with our protests. Instead of them responding to us responsibly and what have you; we were shocked that the Minister of Works Babatunde Fashola came up with an illegal utterance befitting of only rabble-rousers and political irritants by calling out fundamental Human Rights “illegal!”
“What Minister Fashola has done is amazing. After all, the camera he found at LekkiTollGate after the massacre is still a mystery. Yet, the Minister’s outburst is also another evidence that the Buhari government hates real educational development.
“They are never apologetic and are hell-bent on destroying every remnant of State welfare left. They prefer to kill the public schools instead of revamping them.
“Nigerian students are not surprised that the Buhari government does not care about public education. After all, all the politicians have their kids schooling abroad, while the children of the masses that constitute 99% of the population are only fit to be thugs, hard workers, and sex slaves.
“We dare say that this cruelty will not continue anymore. And, it is on this note we call on the national leadership of ASUU to synergise with Nigerian students in achieving this struggle that we have commenced by ensuring that a state of emergency is declared in the educational sector.”