Journalism of Courage

ASUU strike: NLC, ASUU, others storm National Assembly, threaten to commence national strike

Persecondnews reports that the well attended rally amid tight security featured the participation of labour unions drawn from all public universities, polytechnic  and colleges of education, National Association of Nigerian Students and the Youth Council of Nigeria.

The organized labour on Wednesday held a mega rally in Abuja where it threatened to resume another protest match and indefinite strike if the federal government refuses to meet demands of the striking university lecturers

Rounding off the two-day nationwide protest rallies in Abuja, labour gave the government “few weeks” to end the five months old strike and meet demands of all industrial unions in the nation’s tertiary institutions or face a show down.

Persecondnews reports that the well attended rally amid tight security featured the participation of labour unions drawn from all public universities, polytechnic  and colleges of education, National Association of Nigerian Students and the Youth Council of Nigeria.

Led by the President of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, the mega rally took off from the Unity Fountain, located in Maitama District and  terminated at the National Assembly where the labour leaders urged the lawmakers to urgently intervene to avoid a complete shutdown of the nation’s economy.

Addressing workers at the rally, the NLC President said education is a right and not a privilege and urged all Nigerians to resist attempt to make education the exclusive preserve of the rich.

“When it comes to education they will say there is no money but they have enough to travel around the world and provide the best education for their children.

“The 2009 agreement was signed eleven years ago but the law says we should revisit the agreement every three years but eleven years after we are still dilly-dallying,” he said.

Also speaking, ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, warned of eminent collapse of the education sector if urgent steps are not taken to carry out comprehensive reforms.

He enumerated the demands of the union as separate payment platform, respect for collective bargaining agreements that were freely and mutually reached with the union

and for the government to release the White Papers of the Visitation Panels, Improve funding for both federal and state universities.

From the civil society groups, Comrade Eneh Obi of the ActionAid, said the five months old strike has exposed the Nigerian students to crime.

“It a complete failure of governance, the president is always expressing shock over everything but cannot take action, If you know you cannot govern resign.”

On his part, human right activist, Sen. Shehu Sani, said the demands of ASUU needed urgent attention, pointing out “it is difficult to accept that there is no more funds for our universities.”

Persecondnews reports that the protesting workers and ASUU members were received at the National Assembly by Sen. Ajayi Boroface and the Deputy Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr Peter Akpatasan.

They promised to deliver the letter containing the demands of the organized labour to the appropriate quarters for prompt action.

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