The National Association of Nigerian Students has urged the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to reverse the no-work-no-pay policy on the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities.
According to a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja by the coordinator of NANS Southwest, Emmanuel Olatunji, the association disclosed this during a protest on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway on Tuesday.
The statement reads in part: “Today we started a major action on ASUU strike. There is no point in arguing about who is to blame or what needs to be done. It is very clear that the rulers are underfunding education, and the Buhari government is failing in its promises to revamp education.
“As it is today, no higher institution in Nigeria is world class! Yet our so-called Government officials travel all over the world and spend billions to send their children abroad for studies.
“As major stakeholders in the education sector, we are the ones who can save ourselves. We monitored the desires of students from campus to campus through their social media platforms and in their public writings. Students across Nigeria stand with ASUU.
“Our lecturers suffer from the same hardships and maldevelopments that we suffer. The staff houses are as bad as the student halls of residence. In South Africa, a professor’s laboratory is much more equipped than that of any university in Nigeria.
“History has been killed and undermined, so our young people do not know where we came from, let alone know where we are going. But we will mourn no more. The new leadership in NANS is here to work with students to achieve our stated goals and objectives. We believe that the student movement has its place in history. This is a task we promise to fulfill. We will never let Nigerian students down!
“It is on this note that we declare: we stand with ASUU. We call on ASUU leadership for a meeting as soon as possible to discuss and plan solidarity actions for the next phase of the struggle.
“We accept a motion of no confidence in both ministers of labor and education. We call for the proper funding of the education sector against what has been achieved in the last 7 years.
“We call on the Buhari government to pay all outstanding arrears and salaries of the lecturers. The policy of “No Work No Pay” is a fascist one; it is therefore condemnable and unacceptable to all the millions of students in Nigeria!
“We will, by this statement, not beg again. We will mobilize all students to block the country (without excluding the presidential villa)”.