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The Ebonyi State chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) yesterday staged a peaceful protest to demand an immediate end to the ongoing one-month warning strike declared by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The Eastern Updates gathered that the students barricaded the Presco Campus section of the very busy Abakaliki-Enugu road demanding immediate end to incessant strikes.
The students who were led by the acting Deputy Coordinator of Zone F, Comrade Ewa Chukwumaijem, and the Joint Campus Committee (JCC) Chairman-elect in the state, Comrade Ituma Kelvin, carried placards with inscriptions such as ‘Age is irreversible, house rents are non-refundable’, ‘Stop disrupting our life plans, FG stop delaying our career’, ‘Stop toying with our future and that of our dear nation”, “We can’t continue to be bait for anybody’, among others.
Addressing newsmen, Chukwumaijem said the protest was to register their displeasure over the incessant ASUU strikes in the nation’s universities.
He noted that the strikes had always been about the selfish interests of ASUU and never about the interest of the students.
He called on the Federal Government and ASUU to take immediate actions towards resolving the strike for the interest of the students.
He said, ‘this is a nationwide protest. It is being done in different states of the federation. We have decided to do our own today irrespective of insecurity in the state, but the protest is a peaceful one.
‘The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, is on strike, on incessant strike.
‘At the end of the strike , ASUU will sort out its differences with the federal government. Who will now sort out with the students? Nobody.
‘The students will end up paying another house rent because we pay house rent per session. When you pay per session and the strike take up the session, there is no how the landlord will allow you without paying again.
‘And most of us are of age that if you do not calculate yourself very well, you will not be mobilize for service. You will now have to exempt yourself by collecting exemption letter.
‘What we are saying is that what ASUU is doing is for their personal interest. It is not in the benefit of any Nigeria student. A course that should take you four or five years will linger from seven to eight years. There is no how we can benefit from the strike.
‘ASUU should learn another better way to negotiate with the federal government. The federal government should also learn to honour agreement.
‘They say when two elephants fights, the grass suffers it. The students are the one suffering it now. We say no to ASSU strike . Enough is enough.
‘After this nationwide protest of NANS today, ASSU and the Federal Government should see the reasons to call off the strike.’
The Federal Government and the University lecturers are set to hold a meeting today in bid to resolve the issues.
THE EASTERN UPDATES