The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has issued a two-week ultimatum to the federal government to resolve the lingering industrial action embarked on by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
On Monday, the association blocked the roads leading to the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos.
Prior to that, the Lagos-Ibadan expressway and the Ibadan-Ife-Ilesha expressway were blocked to protest the lingering strike.
In a statement issued on Wednesday by Ojo Olumide, chairman of NANS national taskforce on the strike, the association said the country treats public tertiary education with “utmost disregard”.
The association condemned the federal government for not prioritising ASUU’s concerns despite several meetings held to resolve the issues.
“We wish to restate our total commitment towards the return of Nigerian Students in the nation’s public universities back to campus, the ongoing #EndASUUStrikeNow which has commenced will be sustained until the federal government of Nigeria resolve with ASUU and our students are back to their campuses,” the statement reads.
“We condemn the Federal Government of Nigeria for not prioritizing the concerns of ASUU after having extensive meetings with its leadership, with the view of bringing an end to the protracted industrial action.
“We appeal to our lecturers to intensify the campaign for proper funding of the educational sector and not limit the agitation to the welfare of their members alone.
“Our blocking of access to public roads and ports is just a warning. If the government fails to conclude all the negotiations and agreements with ASUU within the frame of two weeks, they will witness more protests and rallies all over the country.
“They will also witness the annoyance, anger, and frustration of Nigerian students who have been at home for the past seven months. As we promise them that we will not allow any political campaign to hold across the country until we are back to class.
“This government has pushed so many Nigerian students into depression. We say enough is enough; we can no longer bear the brunt of this avoidable crisis in our nation’s public ivory towers again.”
The association urged Nigerians to join them in the struggle to save public education in the country.
“For those misconstruing our struggle, we call on them to see reason with Nigerian Students and join us in the struggle to save public education in the country,” he added.
“Today, a lot of Nigerian students have lost a complete academic session due to this unwarranted dispute between the federal government and ASUU, not counting those that have lost their lives or were involved in one casualty or the other due to the protracted ASUU strike.
“To us, the ASUU strike is germane and the only way to save public higher institutions across the nation from total collapse is to properly invest in the educational sector.
“The leadership of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) will continue to ground all the nation’s public assets from roads to airports including Nigeria Ports Authority if the federal government, through the federal ministry of education and the federal ministry of labour, fail to resolve with the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in no distant time.”
On Tuesday, the leadership of the house of representatives said it will meet with President Muhammadu Buhari over the strike.