The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) yesterday said its patience following the strike in the nation’s public universities had been overstretched.
The body said its deadline fixed for December 31 for the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to resolve their differences and call off the ongoing strike was in force, vowing that it would mobilise membe rs to the streets in protest after expiration of deadline.
NANS Zone C Coordinator, Suleiman Sarki, who spoke in Abuja yesterday, called on the two parties to reach a common ground with the view to ending the strike in the nation’s public universities immediately.
While noting that education was the right of Nigerians and not a privilege, Sarki said “enough is enough.
“Both the federal government and ASUU should know that our silence should not be taken as weakness.
“While we noted with grave concern the insincerity of the government in addressing ongoing problems in our public universities, we also discovered ASUU is out for its selfish interest.
“What they tell us as students is different from what they present to the government when they go to the negotiation table with the government. They are just after their personal interest and not the interest of the students they claimed. So enough is enough. We have our own ways of tackling the issue and we should not be pushed to resort to that,” he said.
While addressing the media in Abuja, NANS Zone A Coordinator, Umar Faruk Lawal, had regretted that after several meetings, both government and ASUU were yet to reach agreement with a view to calling off the ongoing strike.
To this end, he warned: “Today, we want to announce to the federal government, the ASUU and to the whole world that very soon, we are coming out in full force.”
“It’s not a threat to the government neither it’s a threat to ASUU, we are not afraid of anybody that wants to jeopardize the future of the Nigerian students or the Nigerian masses. We are coming out and we are going to hold the entire African nation stagnant. By that time, we will shut down airports and major roads across Nigeria
“We are warning the federal government and not appealing to them because it’s our right. Most of our leaders, from the president to the permanent secretaries went to school free of charge but some of us do bricklaying work to come and pay our school fees while some hang around in campuses to do one or two printing work to pay their fees,” he said.
He added that students will vote for a government that was neglecting the Nigerian students.
“I want this message to reach the table of the president that 2019 is around the corner. All the PVCs of the Nigerian students are not meant for the government that is not taking good care of our educational sector.
“If they don’t call off this strike before the end of December 31, 2018, we as NANS are going to resolve it for them, “he said.
Also speaking at the event, Mojeed Omolaja, FCT chairman of NANS, had wondered why both ASUU and the government had refused to shift grounds for the interest of students.
“The federal government and ASUU have been meeting and up till now, there have never been a resolution, there have never been any positive resolution between the two parties. And we all know that when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers,” he said.