By John Ighodaro
CALABARâ€”National Vice-President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Comrade Egbe Jerome, has called on ASUU to have a rethink on the on-going strike action in the interest of the students.
Speaking to Vanguard in Calabar, Cross River State, he said, â€œStudents have been ardent supporters of the ASUU struggle, but as things are, weâ€™ve seen there is the need for ASUU to reconsider its position on this matter.â€
Continuing, he said, â€œASUUâ€™s position is right without doubt, but as the Federal Government is not yielding grounds, we can see that if things continue this way, the academic calendar will be disrupted with grave consequences for the graduating students, the incoming ones and their parents,â€ adding that when two elephants fight the grass suffers.
Quoting an African proverb, Comrade Jerome said, â€œyouâ€™ll recall there is an African Proverb that says, when two elephants fight, the grass suffers. In this case the students are the grass, while the Federal Government and ASUU are the elephants.â€
He noted that some students, in view of the present predicament â€œhave found themselves in criminal activities and some of the ladies have gone into prostitution because they are idle and as we all know, an idle mind can easily be manipulated.â€
He also had a word for the Federal Government, saying the Federal Government is insensitive to the plight of both ASUU and the students.
His words: â€œThe Federal Government has granted militants amnesty, which is commendable, but I hope the same Federal Government is not expecting ASUU to adopt that form of militancy before they can heed the calls of ASUU. I also hope the Federal Government is not expecting ASUU to adopt the Boko Haram method of doing things which is reprehensible.
â€œI must however say here that we, the students are not compelling ASUU to go back to the negotiating table, we are only appealing to them. Being our fathers and teachers, we can only appeal to them.
We understand what they are going through because we live in the same environment but the Federal Government does not understand because it is not living with us.
We implore religious leaders and traditional rulers, elder statesmen and other eminent Nigerians to prevail on ASUU to go back to the negotiating table and for the Federal Government to understand the plight of ASUU and the cry of the Nigerian students. ASUUâ€™s demands are quite justifiable,â€ he added.