lOgun students shut down Benin-Ore highway
lTrucks conveying soldiers denied passage on Ibadan-Ife expressway
lUNIBEN students shut federal secretariat
By Dayo Johnson, Ozioruva Aliu & Shina Abubakar
Students across the country, yesterday, barricaded highways in the country in continuation of protests against the continued strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, getting travellers stranded for hours.
Those who participated in yesterday’s protests include students of the three universities in Ondo State, universities in Ogun State and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, Osun State.
The students in the three universities in Ondo State, including Federal University of Technology, Akure; Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko; and Olusegun Agagu University of Technology, Okitipupa, blocked the Ilesha/Akure highway.
They chanted different solidarity songs and displayed placards with various inscriptions such as: “End ASUU Strike”, “Save our future”.
Many motorists and travellers were stranded for hours on the highway, as students berated the Federal Government for not yielding to the demands of ASUU.
While others turned the highway to a football pitch, the students said they would not leave the highway until the Federal Government met ASUU’s demands.
Speaking on the action by the students, Vice Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Ondo chapter, Shittu Afolarin, stated: “The move became imperative after it was discovered that the Federal Government is not concerned about the plight of students.
“This is not just FUTA students alone, we have joint university students present here for the protest.
“We have been at home close to 100 days and that is why we choose to show our grievances by obstructing the activities of the state and that is why we have come this long to block the federal highway.
“We are not leaving here until the Federal Government attends to ASUU and its demands. We are promising Nigerians that we are not leaving this particular place until ASUU’s demands are met. We understand that the Federal Government is not taking us seriously and they think we are joking.
“We will be here until FG attends to ASUU. If it takes them three weeks, we will be here. We will not be tired. We have our pots and foodstuff here with us, we will cook on the highway and eat. We even came along with our beds to sleep. So we are not leaving here.”
Ogun students shut down Benin-Ore highway
Similarly, students from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye; Tai Solarin University of Education, and the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, all in Ogun State, also yesterday blocked the Sagamu-Benin-Ore highway.
They bore on their banner, “Stop Toying with Our Education,” as they marched on the road in protest.
Commenting on their action, the TASUED Students’ Union President, Sharon Great, said: “We have all come here today to shut down the Benin-Ore expressway to make our demands met by the Federal Government and to also pass a message to the state governments.
“Nigerian universities need proper funding. It is the responsibility of the FG and state governments to bring about a viable educational system. That is why we have gathered here today to show that our demands must be met by the Federal Government.
“I am in solidarity with ASUU, their demands are genuine. If the FG can’t hold down the salaries of political office holders, why would they hold down the salaries of lecturers who work to mould Nigerian future leaders? ASUU strike must end.”
OAU students turn back army’s convoy, blocks highway
Also, students of Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, yesterday resumed blockade of the Ife-Ibadan express road in protest against continuous closure of universities over ASUU strike nationwide.
The students converged on the university’s main gate as early as 8am and marched to the highway to block it.
The protesting students turned back two vehicles conveying soldiers.
“We got to this point around 10am today (yesterday) and after we barricaded the road, a military vehicle forced its way after which we blocked it again.
“A few minutes later, two other vehicles with soldiers attempted to pass through the barricade but we forced them to turn back. We have resolved to block the road from 8am till 3pm daily,” said one of the student leaders,” Omowumi Abraham.
UNIBEN students shut down federal secretariat
In Benin City, Edo State, the continued strike by ASUU took a new dimension, yesterday, as students of the University of Benin, UNIBEN, shut down the federal secretariat in the state capital and instructed the workers to close for the day.
The protesting students said the workers would not continue to work while they were idle and not being in classes for their studies.
The students also cooked at the premises, adding that they had resolved to shut Federal Government offices in the state to press home their demand for the resolution of the ASUU crisis.
President of UNIBEN Student Union Government, SUG, Foster Amadin, said the Federal Government had not shown enough conviction to resolve the crisis.
He said: “Education has been taken to an unserious level and the Federal Government is busy with election, forgetting the fact that there are many students at home due to ASUU strike. We are appealing to those concerned to step in and find a solution
“We are here today, we have protested at Airport, Ring Road and Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, office. We will keep going round until they find a solution and we go back to our classes.
“Since we are not attending classes, we will look for places to play and show our grievance, instead of staying at home and becoming the devil’s workshop.
“We hear the government is meeting with ASUU but nothing concrete has come out of the meetings. The police are here with us to ensure the protest is not hijacked by hoodlums because the students are peace-loving people.”