The National Association of Nigerian students (NANS) has vowed to mobilise its members to stop the forthcoming Presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress and Peoples Democratic party (PDP) Nigerian public Universities remain closed over the unending action arising from the face-off between the federal government and ASUU, which began over two months ago.
NANS president, Sunday Ashefon said the the association resolved to stop APC and PDP slated its Presidential primary elections for May, arose from the blame-game between the two political parties contributed more to the collapse of Nigerian education sector.
He issued the threat on Thursday in an interview with Channels television Sunrise programme on the back of a peaceful protest by University of Benin (UNIBEN) students in Benin City over the shutting down of Nigerian public Universities over alleged failure of the federal government to implement their agreement bothering on revitalisation fund for Universities and the adoption of the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) payroll software.
Ashefon also alleged that mediators on the face-off between ASUU and the federal seem to have been overwhelmed, adding that the government posture does not inspire hope of the students who bear the brunt of the strike.
“We are battle ready. The highest they (government) can do is to shoot us. And when they ask their police to shoot us, the generation coming will know that we die because of fighting for them. The lessons that would be learnt is that they shot us because they are preparing for elections. But we need to take action. That is why wee need to take action. And we mean it. We are very serious about it.
“We want the government to know. That is why we picked the two political parties – APC and PDP. The PDP handed over to APC. But it is the APC that is the incumbent government. It is an opportunity of meet with the federal government. They will tell you, we inherited the problems. ASUU will tell you this problems had been on when former President Goodluck Jonathan was in office.
“We believe as students that government is continues. They have not been able to find a solution to this matter. We should not be at the receiving end all the time and stop using us to play politics. Nigeria should borrow a leaf from Singapore.
“It is quite unfortunate that we live in a Country where most of our leaders who are the beneficiaries free education can’t act. In those days of ‘Alli Must Go protest’, they (our leaders who were students then protested because they stopped giving them chickens), not because their schools were locked.
We are receiving lectures under dilapidated buildings. They are not contesting because of that”, he said.
Asked what has been the response from ASUU and the federal government has reached bout to NANS since the Nigerian students threat that there will be no primaries unless the strike is called off, he said, aside from ASUU that has shown solidarity with NANS, the federal government appears adamant in defiance to derail the deal.
According to the NANS president who called for revitalization of the University system is keen to Nigerian student, “They (government) do not even known if we issued a threat. Like I have said, until they see it coming, they won’t act.
“Even the Bible says, if they do not see the signs people will not believe that there is a miracle somewhere. And part of that sign is what we saw in Benin yesterday (Wednesday) that people are now resuming on the street.
Continuing, Ashefon said, “No government has taken steps to put an end to ASUU strikes and we are talking about education. When we are talking about education, we are talking about lives being discussed by leaders that we elected.
“Rather, their focus now is that is about elections. And these elections that they are talking about is about their own parochial interest….After this, the next thing that they will be talking about is Presidential and the elections”, he said, “Up till this moment, we have never been invited to a meeting with the federal government. We have not received any email or any letter to be part of federal government meeting with ASUU.
Over two months, the NANS President, directed Nigerian students to bring their mattresses and cooking utensils while resuming in their new campus in Abuja and all the designated Campuses across the Country.
Nigeria minister of Education for (state), Emeka Nwajuba and his counterpart in Labour, Chris Ngige, came under fire last week after the duo paid the sum of N100 million each to obtain APC presidential nomination forms.
Besides, Nwajuba announced that the government has stopped striking Universities lecturers salaries, months after Ngige said the government cannot afford to pay the outstanding N1.1 trillion revitalisation fund demanded by the lecturers and advised them to return to negotiation table.
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