The president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Mr. Sunday Asefon has vowed to make real his threat, that major political parties would not be allowed to hold their primaries in the country’s headquarters unless the universities are reopened.
Expanding on an earlier statement made on the 1st of May 2022, Mr. Asefon threatened that the primaries of both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would be besieged and disrupted by his members.
He said the only way to avoid such was the resolution of the crisis between the striking university workers and the Nigerian government, which he noted, must lead to the immediate reopening of the universities.
In interviews with several press channels, Mr. Asefon repeated the threat and said the students would not allow political party primaries in the nation’s capital “even if we would be shot by security operatives.” He described the protest held on Wednesday by students in Benin, the Edo State capital, as “only a sign of the mother of protests to be expected by Nigerians in Abuja.”
“We are talking about education, we are talking about life, our life is no longer being discussed by the leaders, these leaders that we elected; but rather, their focus now is on the election. This election that we are talking about is because of their parochial and selfish interests.
“We are battle-ready. They will ask their policemen to shoot us, if we die, the generation coming will know that we died while fighting for them. They would also know that they shot us because they are preparing for an election. But we need to take action.”
It should be noted that ASUU had on March 14, 2022, extended its previous one-month-old industrial action by two months to allow the government to meet all of its demands, which among other things include: Improved welfare for university lecturers, revitalization of public universities, and academic autonomy.
Yet, as the disagreement with the lecturers’ union was still in deliberation, the non-academic staff unions on the campus also joined the strike, which has once again been extended by another month.
Worsening the matter is the federal government’s insistence that it does not have the required financial resources to meet the workers’ demands, citing poor economic conditions.
What's Your Reaction?
Michael is a writer, primarily of genre fiction like fantasy, but also has interested in the contemporary arts. When not reading he can be found looking up videos about history, mythology and everything tech.