From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Aggrieved students of government owned Polytechnics under the umbrella of National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), on Thursday, grounded official activities at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Education, to register their discontent with prolonged strike by their lecturers under the umbrella of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP).
The students, in their large numbers, assembled at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Education, located at the Federal Secretariat Complex, Abuja, armed with placards bearing several inscriptions demanding action from the Ministry to end the prolonged strike.
There was pandemonium as they barricaded the entrance gate of the Ministry preventing staff and visitors from either entering or leaving the premises of the Ministry.
NAPS President, Sunday Asuku, told journalists that the students are fed up with back and forth regarding the strike by their lecturers.
He said: “We are here to demand immediate reopening of our schools. ASUP has been on strike for two months now and nothing has been done about it. Government is not saying anything about it or not doing enough to end the prolonged strike that had crippled official activities at institutions. We want them to reopen the schools now or else we are not leaving.
“We have written to them but they have declined action. The Federal Government staff are being paid their salaries and allowances likewise our lecturers so who is going to pay the students for time wastage.”
Asuku added that the students body had reached out to ASUP which had promised to shift ground if the government yield to their demands, but that may not had been done.
He disclosed that ASUP had presented 15 items to the Government for action but the government has able to get two which is not commendable.
Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, in his address, shockingly, informed the students that the Federal has met all the demands of the union.
He said: “When ASUP wanted to start this strike, we wrote to inform them that everything they had requested for has been agreed upon, and we do not have any area of disagreement.
“On the 23rd of May, we communicated to ASUP with a catalog of everything that they said we should do that we have complied with.”