David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) yesterday crippled commercial activities in Anambra State, as they blocked the Enugu-Onitsha expressway in Awka, the state capital.
The protesters who trooped to Aroma Junction at about 9a.m. yesterday refused to leave the road, causing gridlock on all roads linking the expressway, leaving motorists and travelers frustrated.
Leader of the protesters, Mr. Peter Onyenwife, who identified himself as the leader of the students in Anambra State, said: “Our members are tired of staying at home and doing nothing because of the ASUU strike.
“That is why we raised a new hashtag, #EndASUUStrike. We are asking the federal government to put an end to the ASUU strike, so that our members can return to school. We are no longer happy, and we will not leave until we receive the assurance.”
The Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, chapter, Steven Ufoaru, who also addressed the protesters, said: “I’m very excited that the Nigerian youths have come of age to ask for what belongs to them. That’s why I’m here to solidarise with them to demonstrate ASUU support on what they are doing.
“They’re simply asking for their right. The country belongs to all of us. No individual owns Nigeria, all of us, including the youths, are stakeholders, yet nobody cares about them. That’s why I’m supporting them, and let them take it up from there.
“The government should consider our youths by investing in education, so that we can train them to be useful to their country. The protesters are very peaceful, if not, I won’t be here. I assure you the protests won’t be hijacked by urchins.”
As at the time of filing this report, the protesters had blocked the road for seven hours, and have insisted on not opening the road until their demands are met.