From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) Wednesday morning blocked the ever-busy Benin-Asaba-Onitsha expressway in protest against the lingering strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The placard bearing protesters who stormed the Koka area of the highway in Asaba said the action was in response to the decision of the leadership of NANS to halt activities in government offices until the statement between ASUU and the Federal Government was resolved.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, the deputy coordinator of NANS in the South-South and South-East, Oghale Emeka Rex, said the decision to cripple the nation was taken two weeks ago in Sokoto.
Rex stated that students in the South-South delayed in implementing the decision in a bid to lobby governors in the region to prevail on the FG on the need to accede to ASUU demands.
He added that they were ignored by the governors, hence their resort to holding a protest.
“This is a marathon protest to block all federal roads as a test run of what will come up in the coming days.
“Henceforth, students would be coming with their stove, and foodstuff to cook on this road. We are coming out with our sleeping mats to occupy the road.
“And then, we will move to the Federal Secretariat in Asaba to grind activities so that everybody will be at home,” he said.
On how to permanently end strikes in the nation’s education system, the NANS leader who decried the corruption in the education sector advocated the need to stop both elected and appointed officials from sending their children abroad for educational pursuit.
Rex further suggested that the federal government should stop the salaries and allowance of union members in the education sector who embark on strike.
He attributed the rot in infrastructure in tertiary institutions across the country to the failure of both state and federal governments to adhere to the 26% budgetary provision as recommended by UNESCO.
On his part, Mr Odogwu Hyascent Ugochi urged the Federal Government to meet the demands of ASUU, just as he appealed to the striking lecturers to harken to the voice of reason and call of the prolonged strike.