A coalition of youths and students drawn from different tertiary institutions yesterday took to the streets of some major towns in the country to protest the continued closure of public universities due to strike by staff unions.
The people, who acted under the aegis of the Fund Education Coalition, stormed the main gate of the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, clutching placards with various inscriptions such as;
“End ASUU strike now,” Education is not a scam”, “We stand with ASUU Revitalisation Fund.”
However, the attempt by some youths and students to protest at the main gate of the University of Lagos, Akoka, was thwarted by security men who took over the place before the students arrived for the protest.
One of the students, who gave his name as Michael Adebayo, said his colleagues decided on the protest because there appeared to be no end in sight to the strike.
The group had earlier circulated fliers indicating that members would protest in Oyo, Lagos, Edo, and some other states.
When contacted, the Coordinator, South-West Zone of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Stephen Tegbe, said the coalition informed the student body about the plan to embark on the protest.
“Yes, the group informed us about their planned protest but we could not take part in it because of some reasons. The national leadership of NANS is already working on our next line of action regarding the continued closure of public universities in the country,” he said.
Recall that the National President of NANS, Sunday Asefon, had a few days ago, issued a statement warning political parties against holding their presidential primaries in Abuja while the ASUU/government face-off has not been resolved and the universities reopened.
Members of ASUU have been on strike since February 14, this year, while non-teaching staff in the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions, NASU, also started their own strike few weeks ago.