The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), South East, has issued the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) a nine-day ultimatum to open all public universities.
The Coordinator, NANS Zone F (South-East), Mr Moses Onyia, gave the ultimatum in a statement released on his behalf by the Chief Media Aide to the Coordinator, Lillian Orji, on Tuesday in Enugu.
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ASUU had, on Monday, May 9, extended its three-month-old warning strike by yet another three months.
ASUU embarked on a nationwide warning strike on Feb. 14, 2022.
The industrial action was aimed at pressing home its demands which include revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowances and the deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution for payment of university lecturers.
The statement said that the government and ASUU should do the needful before nine days, adding that failure to do this within or at the expiry of this ultimatum would only leave students with the last resort of taking a drastic measure.
According to the statement, “from May 20 to May 25, 2022; after the expiration of the ultimatum, we will take up measures that will see to Nigerian students of the South-East extraction in their numbers blocking one of the major entrance into South-East – The Niger Bridge.
It said: “We will also block all the three airports in the South-East, which included: Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu; Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri and Anambra Passenger and Cargo International Airport, Umeri, Anambra. Thus, halting all movement to and from this axis of the South-East.
“It is our hope it does not get to this point, but when we are pushed to the wall, we are ready to hold the bull by the horn.
“Emphatically, we re-emphasise that government should show a commitment to the oath of protecting the interest and welfare of Nigerians and Nigerian students which they swore to.
“We enjoin all students in the South-East to remain law-abiding and peacefully but stay at alert and be on the lookout for instructions from its leadership as events unfold. When it becomes inevitable, the call to action will be made”.
It said that with the extension of the ASUU strike for additional three months which would make it a total of six months, Nigeria’s tertiary institution students would be forced to stay at home unproductively.
The statement noted that this was also coming at a time when the children of most politicians and top government functionaries are enrolled in the best universities overseas receiving uninterrupted studies.
It said: “We will no longer keep quiet nor pretend all is well because we are no longer at ease.
“Unequivocally and in unison, we say a Big No to this extension and by the virtue of this press release notify the government, ASUU, security agencies and masses of our stand and position”. (NAN)