ASUU Strike, Mass Protes

Traffic Gridlock in Benin as Students Protest Continued ASUU Strike

BENIN CITY – THERE was a chaotic traffic situation in several parts of Benin City for several hours on Wednesday as students from across tertiary institutions in the state protested the continued strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

They want the government’s intervention even as they vowed to continue a daily stay in the city centre until their demands are met. The students mobilized themselves from the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma (AAU), and Federal Polytechnic Auchi.

They carried placards with various inscriptions and blocked the Oba Ovonramwen square popularly called Ring Road to express their grievances which resulted in traffic jams around the axis, including Akpakpava, a mission road.

Speaking on the issue, National Vice President, Special Duties of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Idiahi Thomas faulted Nigeria’s educational sector, saying that “our leaders have bastardized it, and, as it is, Nigerian students are at home and yet the government officials are busy purchasing forms for over a hundred million nairas; an amount presidents of other countries cannot earn constitutionally throughout their own tenure.

If the federal government does not want us to remain here, they know obviously what to do. You are taking a course of four years to five years, now they spend six to seven years. Post Graduate students who are supposed to spend 18 months are spending two to three years and some get frustrated and abandon them.”

A student Union leader from Ekpoma Abumere Joseph said “We are tired of staying at home, for the past three months we have attended classes, I was supposed to graduate in April but as it is now, I don’t know when I will graduate, I have been in one level for close to two years so we are tired.”

On his part, the President, Students Union Government (SUG) of UNIBEN, Foster Amadin said the strike is “suffocating the dreams of Nigerian students while the government is going about their electoral processes and the striking lecturers are going about their individual businesses.”

A civil right leader, Kola Edokpayi said the government does not respect the wishes of the people of Nigeria lamenting that “Our students are at home, yet the Minister of State for Education was able to buy a presidential nomination form of N100m”

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