The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has directed its states and zonal structures to mobilise students against the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the nationwide strike.
NANS President Sunday Asefon, in a statement released in Abuja, on Monday, accused the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, of not up to its responsibilities, hence the decision of ASUU to withdraw their services nationwide.
He told that students would invade and disrupt official activities in his office in Abuja until a solution to the nationwide strike by ASUU is resolved.
He expressed disappointment over the decision of ASUU members to declare a nationwide strike over the failure of the government to implement the agreement it reached with the Union.
Part of the statement reads: “We thought that ASUU and Federal Government officials would have allowed reasons to prevail, reached compromise, act responsibly in the interest of the education sector and indeed Nigeria, to do all that is required to responsibly avert this avoidable strike.
“We are appalled by the impunity, recklessness, and irresponsibility the managers of the negotiation from both sides have managed the fragile situation allowing it to degenerate to the level of industrial action.
“We are, therefore, compelled to believe that negotiators from both sides acted so irresponsibly because of their apathy of the interest and welfare of the major stakeholder of the sector (students) during the negotiations.
“We are equally disappointed at the government for not doing everything possible to avert this embarrassment. We are also disappointed with the ASUU for reaching the conclusion irrespective of the implications to the students, academic calendar, research they claim to love, national security, and sanity.”
He stated that the Federal Government and ASUU, by their action, has sent a direct message to Nigerian students to also take positions comfortable for their side of the table irrespective of the implications.
“However, we will respond in clear language, the language the oppressors understand. I passionately appeal to all student’s leaders, NANS structures, and organs across the nation to mobilise to our national non-elective congress on the 17th of February where far-reaching decisions shall be made on collective response to the blatant lack of patriotism, human feelings, and feelings for the collective future of education in Nigeria.
“Our decisions shall be decisive, collective, and irreversible until the strike is called off. We shall fight this impunity and recklessness without any consideration other than an immediate end to this strike,” Asefon said.
He, therefore, informed the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, to expect the students in their large numbers as they invade his office, and ASUU should be ready to return to the table to end the avoidable, reckless and repugnant strike.
“Let me assure the Minister that our protest in his office today (Monday) was introductory and child play in what is to come. We are resolute more than before to ensure we hold the government, especially the ministry of labour responsible for these incessant strike actions.
“We demand that further negotiations should, as a matter of urgency, have student’s representative as part of the parties, to allow balance in decisions that are capable of impairing the lives of students and derailing their progress because the contentions and issues are triangular and must be treated so, going forward,” the NANS president added.
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