-Give Buhari one-week to act
*Say many students have died over insecurity
By Joseph Erunke, ABUJA
STUDENTS Union Government,SUG presidents in all public universities in the country have demanded immediate sack of ministers of labour and employment,Chris Ngige and education,Malam Adamu Adamu.
The varsity SUG presidents operating under the aegis of Council of Students Union Presidents,CSUP,said their demands followed the inability of the minister to resolve the differences between Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, other university-based unions and the federal government, thereby ending the ongoing strike by the former, before now.
The body also bemoaned the continuous loss of students to incessant killing from bandits attack as a result of their prolonged stay at home because of the strike actions by ASUU.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, CSUP Convener and SUG president of Federal University of Technology (FUT) Minna, Shuaib Yahaya, said failure by the government to end the strike would lead to mass protest across the country.
The president had given the two ministers a two-week ultimatum to resolve the ongoing strike by ASUU and other university-based unions.
ASUU had commenced strike on February 14, and other unions also joined them over the alleged inability of the federal government to meet up with their demands.
Yahaya said that many students who were to be in school but resulted to doing other jobs get kidnapped and killed in the process.
He urged the government to look into the demands of ASUU and attend to them so that they could return to school.
“It is true when they say, “when two elephants meet; only the grass suffers.” It is quite obvious here that both the Federal Government and ASUU have nothing to lose in this fight.
“This is because while the strike action is ongoing, the salary of the Federal Government keep flowing and at the end of every strike action, nothing stops the salaries of ASUU
Members also from flowing.
“The only most unfortunate and innocent victim here, you would agree with us are the Nigerian students, who have everything to loose.
“Even when the strike would
have been called-off, so many of the students will not be able to go for Youth Service due to age limit, so many students after graduation would not be able to afford government jobs due to the age limit consideration,” he said.
Yahaya also said that the strike action had increased the rate of drug abuses, prostitution and thuggery amongst other corresponding wantonness and purposelessness by the Nigerian students who under normal circumstances should be in school acquiring knowledge.
He said that the Nigerian students and campuses had been exposed to insecurities and as such students had now become daily victims of kidnapping by the bandits.
He said that the CSUP had written to the Ministry of Education, issuing a seven days ultimatum to reach an amicable resolutio with their counter parts, ASUU..
” We hereby appeal to the federal government to meet the demands of ASUU within the shortest period of time as failure to do so would leave us with no option than to go ahead with our peaceful demonstration even amidst this security instability.
” For it is better to die for something than to live for nothing. We also call for the immediate removal of the minister of education and the minister of labour,” he said.
Also, the SUG president of university of Jos, Danladi Adankala, recalled an incident that happened to a 500 level student of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho who was kidnapped, murdered after paying ransom.
“In LAUTECH yesterday, a 500 level Rachael Opadele of the department of Fine Art was murdered.
” She was supposed to be in school finalising her education but because of ASUU strike, she opted to work in an hotel were she was kidnapped and killed after paying ransom.
” This is one of the many we know. Students can also be killed during protest, so it is essential for the government to meet the demands of ASUU so that students can return to school,” he said.
In the same vein, the SUG President, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Naajim Gbefwi called on the government to priortise education in the interest of Nigerian students.
Gbefwi said that government should focus on the education of students rather than allocating monies to another country for the procurement of vehicles.