Dozens of Nigerian Universities students on Friday protested in solidarity with the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) who have been on strike for nearly eight months.
The students, who converged at the Federal Government Secretariat, Ikolaba, Ibadan, in Oyo State, urged the government to find a lasting solution to the grievances of universities’ lecturers.
Federal Universities’ lecturers have been on strike since March over the federal government’s insistence on implementing the IPPIS, which the government said all its employees must adopt for their salaries to be paid.
Asides the IPPIS saga, the union also accused the federal government of not abiding by agreements both sides signed a few years ago.
Before now, the leadership of the union and federal government representatives have had repeated meetings but all ended deadlocked. Another mention is expected to hold on Friday evening.
Speaking at the protest ground on Friday, Soneye Abdul-Azeez, the president of Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) said ASUU’s strike is justifiable.
“We solidarise with our lecturers who are demanding a better welfare condition. Enough of having 1000 students in a classroom meant for 200 students. We believe our solidarity with the lecturers at this point in time will foster a successful outcome.”
Protesting students with placards
In the same vein, Olamide Olabiyi, the students’ union president of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) said the thoughts of the students aligned with the demands of ASUU.
“We are here to resist the closure of our schools due to lack of the federal government to meet up with demands of lecturers. Man shall not live by bread alone. These teachers should be made and the federal government should end this impunity.”
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Also speaking, the students’ union president of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuka (FUNAAB) Oloyede Michael said Friday’s rally is a tip of the iceberg.
“As students, we have begun a massive mobilisation for a massive campaign against federal government’s inactions. Except schools resume, we won’t vacate the streets.”