From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Barring any change in plans, Nigerian students under the umbrella of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) will shut down Abuja and other cities in Nigeria on Monday, in fulfillment of threat issued on last Monday.
NANS had threatened to shut down Nigeria begining from Monday, if the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) fail to resolve their differences, to allow students back to school to continue their academic programmes.
Its President, Sunday Asefon, could not be reached to comment on the preparation for the protest, but one of his close aide confirmed that the protest will go on as planned because the Federal Government and ASUU have failed to reach compromise that would herald the reopening of campuses for academic programmes to continue.
However, in a statement last week, the NANS President confirmed that decision to shut down the country was part of the resolution of the supreme organ of association at its meeting at Sokoto State University, Sokoto, last weekend.
He said that all organs of NANS have been directed to mobilize Nigerian students across the 36 states of the federation and FCT in line with congress decision, to ensure the success of the protest.
He said: “We would block of all major federal roads in all the 36 states of the federation. The unfriendly action will be led and coordinated by NANS JCC and Zonal Executive including National officials of NANS in the state. FCT will be blocked by National Secretariat of NANS in collaboration with FCT axis of NANS.”
He stated that the Congress unanimously resolved to act decisively to rescue the tertiary education system, which is their major concern, from total collapse, in addition to the fate of Nigerian students who rely on public university for education.
He said: “Nigerian students can’t continue to pay for sins we never committed. As we are paying for our education, we strongly believe we deserve the best. At the end of every industrial actions, ASUU members are paid their salaries and other entitlements, likewise Government officials in charge of education supervision.
“It’s only Nigeria students that get nothing but a waste of everything, the house rent is non refundable, the age count is irreversible. The extension of stay on campus didn’t only affect our academic journey but destabilize our life plans, as many misses NYSC mobilization due to age limit, many lost job opportunities arising from age factors while many became exposed to risks and crimes following the avoidable idleness mode the strike action imposed on Nigerian stridents.”