Unilorin students protest ASUU strike

By Taiwo Ogunniyi

Students of the University of Ilorin (Unilorin) staged a peaceful protest to express their sadness and disappointment over the ongoing strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The students, in their large number during the protest, said that they planned to take the protest to major places like the Government House, roads linking Ilorin Airport, State House of Assembly, federal secretariat, Police headquarters, Directorate of State Security Services (DSS), among other places, if the meeting between the lecturers’ union and the federal government did not resolve the lingering crisis this week.

The protesting students, who appeared moody, decried their continued stay at home due to the strike by ASUU, calling on the federal government to meet their lecturers demands to enable them complete their academic activities.

The people, while reciting national anthem in different sad postures to depict their dissatisfaction, also sat on the ground, squatted, and lied down while reciting, saying they would not have anything to do with the general elections if the strike action was not called off.

The protest also saw men and officers of the DSS, Police and Man ‘O War manning strategic locations around the institution and providing security in order to see that the peaceful protest was not hijacked by hoodlums.

Speaking with journalists, the president of the Unilorin Students Union Government (SUG), Comrade Taofik Waliu, said that the protest was aimed at creating awareness among stakeholders and members of the public over their sadness on the lingering ASUU strike, stressing that, “we are tired”.

“We want to graduate. The federal government should listen to ASUU demands. We don’t plan to move around town today. We hope that soon ASUU strike will be a thing of the past whereby hanging graduate can graduate and hanging 300 Level students can move up and so on.

However, if nothing fruitful comes out after the meeting of the federal government and ASUU this week, we will move en masse continuously with other students of 10 educational institutions in the state to block roads to various places in the state capital to register our displeasure over the lingering ASUU strike.

“This is just to send message to government that we are tired and they should listen to ASUU demands”.

Also speaking, the state chairman of the Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Comrade Salman Yusuf Yisa, called on state governors to intervene, adding that the issue is beyond the federal government.

“Our house rents had lapsed. Landlords have issued quit notices to many of us. Many 100 Level students are yet to know their fate, yet JAMB is still conducting exams for new admission seekers. We want an end to this persistent strike action. If by next week we don’t see an end to this strike action Nigerians would not find it easy. It’s going to be tough and massive.

Edited by Felix Ajide