Students in Anambra under the aegis of the National Association of Nigerian Student, NANS, on Tuesday protested against the strike action embarked upon by Academics Staff Union Of Universities, ASUU, as they beckoned on Federal Government and ASUU to settle their rift.
The protest which took place around Aroma flyover, Awka and environs had students from Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka and other Universities within Anambra participating, which obstructed the free flow of traffic on the expressway.
They carried placards and banners, which all called on both Federal Government and ASUU not to jeopardize their education and end the strike action, as they chanted solidarity songs.
Speaking during the protest, the Chairman, National Association Of Nigerian Student, NANS, Anambra State Chapter, Mr. Peter Onyenweife explained that the strike action is becoming incessant, which affects their study, year of graduation and extra cost on them and their parents, as many student has resorted to vices due to the strike.
He warned that after one week, if the both parties refuse to settle their case, the Association will barricade all the streets, markets and government offices.
“It is worrisome that these strike actions are becoming incessant and disrupting academic activities of students and it appears the government is not concerned.
“The federal government and ASUU are toying with the future of the country by keeping its productive youths idle for months.
“It is a shame that for a four-year programme, most Nigerian students now spend six to seven years without hope of graduation, nor any hope after graduation.
“This protest is to register our grievances on continuous strike in the universities. “Every six months or less there must be strike in the universities.
“We pay extra house rent, we pay extra school fee, extra feeding allowances because of the incessant strike.
“Many student are now getting involved in armed robbery, prostitution, ‘yahoo yahoo’ and many others criminal activities.
“We are giving government and ASUU one week to resolve their problems or face shutting down the country.
“We will continue to create crisis until they do the needful.
“They are playing with us.
“We are saying no to manipulation and we are saying that we want to go back to school,” he said.
The President, Student Union Government Of UNIZIK, Awka, Mr. Charles Ijeoma noted that students want to go back to their classroom and would not want to be rushed with their studies when eventually school resumes, which failure to heed to their call will lead to massive protest.
Others students who spoke during the protest, including the National President Of National Association Of Polytechnic Students, Mr. Kingsley Asiegbu and the SUG Vice President Of UNIZIK, Awka, Miss Ifunanya Okoye emphasized that it was easy to tag graduates half-baked while little or nothing is taught them during school due to incessant strike, urging the Federal Government to fulfill their agreement with ASUU to bring the lecturers back to classroom.