Peeved by almost two-month old strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), yesterday issued a one-week ultimatum to the Federal Government and the union’s leadership to resolve their differences or face serious consequences.
The students said if the impasse was not resolved within the next seven days, it will mobilise students on a nation-wide riot in what it described as ‘operation occupy Nigeria’.
The students’ body appealed to ASUU to return to the classroom and continue negotiation with the Federal Government since the latter claimed to have released over N100 billion for infrastructural development and another N30 billion for allowances.
This was the highpoint of a protest by the students who blocked the Asaba end of the River Niger Bridge to press home their demands. The protest caused traffic snarl for several hours as the students stalled movements to the eastern part of the country even as those returning were barred.
NANS coordinator in the South-South and South-East, Comrade Chinonso Obasi, stated that students were at the receiving end of the strike and vowed that they would take their destinies in their own hands if the parties failed to reconcile within a week.
“We are appealing to ASUU that since the Federal Government has been able to release N100 billion for infrastructural development and N30 billion for allowance, they should go back to classroom and continue their negotiation or agitation. This is our prayer and wish.
“We are giving them one week to open the schools or be ready to face corrosive consequences in form of nation-wide demonstration and riots. We are ready to mobilise for that and it will be operation occupy Nigeria,” he said.
Lamenting the effect of the strike, Obasi said students have become prone to accidents on the highways and the female students have been reduced to sex hawkers on the streets.
His words: “I stand to tell you that a lot of accidents have been recorded and 99.9% of the victims are Nigerian students. If they were in classrooms, they would not have fallen victims of road crashes.
“Our female students have become commercial sex hawkers on the streets in order to make ends meet. This colossal effect is more than what ASUU is agitating for. Hence, we can no longer fold our arms and watch things go wrong.”