Students protest in Lagos, Benin, vow to block N’ Assembly, airports

STUDENTS from varied tertiary establishments in Edo State on Monday barricaded the gate of the Benin Airport, alongside Airport Highway, in protest in opposition to the three-month extension to the extended strike by the Educational Employees Union of Universities. The ensuing gridlock pressured motorists to divert into the Authorities Reserved Space looking for various routes.

ASUU President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, had in a press release, after a gathering of its Nationwide Govt Council on the College of Abuja on Monday, introduced the extension of the strike for one more 12 weeks with a view to giving the Federal Authorities sufficient time to satisfactorily resolve all of the excellent points between them.

Whereas the Federal Authorities via the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, acknowledged that the federal government would resume talks with the lecturers this week, the union insisted that it was but to get any official communication as regards the assembly.

The protesting college students from the College of Benin; Ambrose Alli College, Ekpoma; and Edo State Polytechnic, Usen, had been additionally on the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State Council, to register their grievances.

The President of UNIBEN’s College students Union Authorities, Foster Amadin, stated on the NUJ secretariat, “We’re interesting to whosoever is worried to assist resolve this challenge. We’ve additionally come to the NUJ secretariat as smart college students who know the significance of the media to specific our displeasure over the lingering ASUU strike.”

Additionally, college students of the College of Lagos, Akoka, staged a protest in opposition to the continued ASUU strike.

The scholars displayed placards, and banners, calling on the Federal Authorities to wade into the disaster.

In the meantime, the Nationwide Affiliation of Nigerian College students has condemned the strike extension, saying the failure of the federal government to succeed in an settlement with ASUU underscored its lack of concern and empathy in direction of the plight of common Nigerians who couldn’t afford personal universities.

It nevertheless known as on college students throughout the nation to occupy all federal roads for at least three hours on Tuesday, saying this later embody the disruption of occasion primaries and complete blockage of the Nationwide Meeting advanced and entry to all airports.

NANS President, Sunday Asefon, in a press release titled ‘ASUU strike extension: The silence of the federal government and the ruling class; the nation should really feel the warmth’ in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, stated having exhausted all home windows for constructive engagement with the federal government, NANS had declared nationwide motion from Tuesday.

He stated, “The Nationwide Motion is tagged ‘Operation Take a look at Run’. It shall be held in all of the 36 states of the federation. Federal roads throughout the 36 states shall be occupied for at least three hours. The operation shall be a precursor to a complete shutdown that can be determined throughout our senate assembly/pre-convention on Saturday, Could 14, 2022. Our choice from the pre-convention shall be binding.

“Our proposal to congress on Could 14 shall be the full blockage of the airport roads throughout the nation and complete disruption of political occasion primaries, blockage of the Nationwide Meeting till they’re dedicated to passing laws banning public workplace holders from sending their kids to universities overseas.”

He warned these he described as “divisive parts or paid brokers of presidency” to keep away from the scholars’ actions whereas calling on the Nigeria Labour Congress, Commerce Union Congress and civil society organisations to hitch the scholars to salvage public tertiary schooling.

Putting lecturers, not our employees – Ngige

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has stated enquiries concerning the ongoing strike by ASUU needs to be directed to the Federal Ministry of Schooling and the Nationwide Universities Fee, noting that his ministry is just not the direct employers of the placing lecturers.

He stated, “I’ve appealed to SSANU, NASU and NAAT to get again and open the colleges in order that when ASUU members come again, they are going to have a spot to work. Within the Ministry of Labour and Employment, we’re conciliators and arbitrators.

“These on strike are usually not our employees. Their direct employers are the colleges and the Federal Ministry of Schooling. Any additional queries on the ASUU strike ought to go to the Federal Ministry of Schooling and if attainable, the Nationwide Universities Fee, who’re their direct employers. We’re right here to conciliate them each time both the employers or staff report back to us that there’s a breakdown in negotiations.”

Strike extension within the curiosity of scholars says ASUU

Talking on the extension, the ASUU president stated the choice of the union was within the curiosity of scholars and a manner of rescuing the college system from additional decay. The union has nevertheless requested its branches to carry congresses to deliberate on the subsequent line of motion.

He advised one in every of our correspondents in an interview, “We even have college students in class; Nigerians are usually not contemplating the plight of lecturers. A lecturer in Nigeria earns lower than $600 a month whereas their counterparts in the US earn virtually $6,000, and also you anticipate the opposite particular person to return and educate and consider all the pieces is alright.

“We began this strike three months in the past. They’ve held my wage all alongside. Am I not occupied with a household? This struggle is for the scholars. If our colleagues within the press and Nigerians take up this wrestle, we’ll return to class. Our universities are dying and we try to rescue them. If fellow Nigerians say they aren’t , tutorial workers have an interest and we won’t enable the system to die the way in which major and secondary faculties died.”

ASUU careworn within the assertion that the strike got here on the heels of the federal government’s failure to satisfactorily implement the Memorandum of Motion it signed with the union in December 2020 on the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Settlement; deployment of the College Transparency and Accountability Resolution; Earned Educational Allowances;  funding for the revitalisation of public universities; proliferation and governance points in state universities; promotion arrears; withheld salaries; and non-remittance of third-party deductions.

Minister counters union

The Minister of State for Schooling, Emeka Nwajiuba, faulted claims by the union that the federal government had been idle as regards assembly the calls for of the union. He stated the union might proceed negotiations with out being on strike, including that the Ministry of Schooling was not the direct employer of the placing lecturers.

Nwajiuba, in an interview with one in every of our correspondents, stated, “Like I stated in one of many movies trending, the Ministry of Schooling is just not the direct employer of ASUU, each college has what is named a governing council. It’s the council that employs you and if you end up employed, you might be transferred to the Federal Authorities.

“Now, you need us to persuade the federal government to switch your salaries from IPPIS. At the same time as a minister, I’m paid through IPPIS however you might be saying you will have a system and also you need the federal government to pay you through that platform.

“That is my query; are you able to not proceed negotiations with out being on strike? Absolutely you possibly can proceed negotiations with out a strike. There isn’t a rational thought or logic when individuals are offended. No worker would abuse a so-called employer the way in which ASUU has been abusing us.”

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