Students Blocked Lagos Ibadan Expressway To Protests Over ASUU Strike, Fuel Scarcity

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) South West Zone D have blocked Lagos Ibadan Expressway to protest over the strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) and scarcity of fuel in the country.

Our correspondent learnt that the protest started at the early hours of today to demand an end to issues of ASUU Strike and fuel scarcity affecting the country.

In a jointly press release signed by NANS JCC/OGUN AXIS, Comrade Kehinde, Damilola, NANS JCC/OYO AXIS, Comrade Adeleke, Quadri Abidemi, NANS JCC/LAGOS AXIS, Comrade Olusesi Tolulope Samson and Comrade Omotosho Surprise Chairman, NANS JCC/ONDO AXIS said it was regrettably that President Muhammad Buhari administration has brought suffering to the country in the last few weeks.

The students lamented that the Nigerian University students across the federation are on abnormal yet compulsory leave out of school due to the ongoing ASUU strike.

The students who also expressed their displeasure revealed that the government of Buhari is aware of the hardship it is causing the Nigerian people but unmoved because the Nigerian people are meant for suffering adding that this is why they have led by example through the staging of the unannounced protest action to express their displeasure about the state of the nation. 

According to the release, "The two issues raised above are arguably the most talked about topic in the Nigeria media today because of the immediate and future implications they have on the livelihood of the Nigerian masses."

"We need not to mention how the unavailability of fuel at affordable price and accessible point has caused damages to the economy of the nation and means of survival of the Nigerian people whose source of livelihood are dependent on transportation sector, production with machines that uses fuel, internet work which requires optimum power supply that is not available and the only alternative means which is through running of generator has been made impossible due to fuel scarcity and many other economic survival dependent of fuel."

"Many Nigerians have lost their jobs as they could not get to work at official time because of reduced number of commercial vehicles accessible to them. Some have lost contract with foreign firms because they could not meet up with target due to power failure and unavailability of fuel to run on generator. Some factories are sealed or at best producing at high cost and then inflate price of their products as a result of time and financial challenges associated with running their machines."

"These are just some of the problems the Nigerian government has created for the Nigerian people through the fuel scarcity mess."

"The Nigerian University students across the federation are on abnormal yet compulsory leave out of school due to the ongoing ASUU strike. Our time would be wasted."

"Age would be against us by the time we graduate and go into the Labour market. We will be forced to pay extra rent on accommodation as most of us are staying in private hostels since the government has failed to provide adequate, affordable and sufficient accommodation for all of us on our campuses. Above all, some of our colleagues would be distracted, discouraged and would probably jettison schooling for other things if not at worst, illegal activities."

"The government continue to make a monster out of many of us due to their irresponsibility and poor education in our public tertiary institutions. These are some of the reasons Nigerians are all over the different countries of the world suffering humiliations and racism just to get qualitative education as evident in the manner Nigerian students in Ukraine were been treated in past few days."

"All of these would not have surfaced should the government has done the needful by providing good working conditions for our University teaching and non teaching staff while aiding it with facilities needed for qualitative and easy learning."

"Unfortunately , at the height of these crisis, the President in his usual manner of leaving the country at the needed time jetted out to London for medical checkup."

" Another exposure of the unreasonable, lackadaisical and shameful personality of the Nigerian ruling class. Should the President have provided 21st century standard public health care, he would not have needed to travel thousands of miles just for medical checkups. And if he choose to do so, the President should have honourably resigned when he knows he is not healthy enough to carry the responsibility of his office. No responsible statement has been attributed to the President who doubles as the Minister for petroleum till date. By now, heads should be rolling, notable persons who have failed in their duties should be sacked, all involved in the process of importing the adulterated fuel should be facing interrogation and prosecution. This is the least expected from any responsible government."

"On the other hand, federal government in their shameful manner has setup another committee to review the 2009 agreement with ASUU for some other weeks."

This is coming after the government has met with ASUU, considered the same 2009 agreements, signed different memoranda of understanding and agreement with ASUU since inception of this administration in 2015. This is nothing but a show of shame and no seriousness from the federal government. 

To add to the shameful and arrogant attitude of the government, a media aide to the President, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement some days back, insulted the humanity and dignity of the Nigerian people by saying that the Nigerian people are used to suffering and ‘heaven would not fall’ in the face of all of these crisis.

This is to reveal that the government of Buhari is aware of the hardship it is causing the Nigerian people but unmoved because the Nigerian people are meant for suffering. We would not blame the media aide for not hiding his lack of compassion and insensibility. We will only be charging the Nigerian people, most particularly the working class under the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to come to their historical role in ensuring this nonsense is put to stop. And this is why we have led by example through the staging of this unannounced protest action to express our displeasure about the state of the nation. 

We are urging all well meaning Nigerians to join us subsequently to demand for an end to this suffering.

We are saying a total no to the artificial scarcity created by the government and oil marketers just to increase fuel pump price. No single increment in fuel pump price would be accepted by the Nigerian students in the South West zone.

We are calling on the federal government to honour the demands of ASUU and stop the gimmick of setting up a facade committee to review the 2009 agreement. 

We are convinced that all Nigerian students in the south west and beyond, patriotic Nigerians, Labour Unions, Civil Societies and the Press as the conscience of the nation will rise up now in unison to demand for these basic issues we have raised. Nigeria is our nation, and we must jealously protect it for her progress, the statement concluded.

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