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 the country as from today in fulfilment of a threat NANS issued last Monday.
NANS had threatened to shut down Nigeria beginning from today, if the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) failed to resolve their differences, to allow students go 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 the protest will go on as planned because the Federal Government and ASUU have failed to reach a compromise that would herald the reopening of campuses for academic programmes to continue.
However, in a statement last week, NANS president confirmed that decision to shut down the country was part of the resolution of the supreme organ of the association during its meeting at Sokoto State University, Sokoto, last weekend.
He said all organs of NANS have been directed to mobilise Nigerian students across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in line with congress’ decision, to ensure the success of the protest.
He said: “We would block 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 said 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 relied on public university for education.
He said: “Nigerian students cannot 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 action, ASUU members are paid their salaries and other entitlements, likewise government officials in charge of education supervision.
“It is 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 destabilise our life’s plans, as many miss National Youth Service Corps mobilisation due to age limit, many lost job opportunities arising from age factors while many are expose to risks and crimes as a result of the strike.”