The President, National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Comrade Danielson Akpan, has warned that if the face-off between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, was not resolved and the ongoing strike called off, on 7th January 2019, the students body would mobilise students across the country to halt commercial activities and the February general elections.
Akpan who spoke to Vanguard described ASUU as a selfish and hypocritical union, adding that while it agitates openly for funds for infrastructure development in Nigerian universities, their primary motive for the industrial action is the payment of their earned allowances.
He argued that on several occasions when the Federal Government permitted the students’ union to attend the negotiation meetings it had with ASUU, the leadership of ASUU rejected.
According to him, if there was nothing ASUU was hiding from the students’ union, why would it on two occasions reject their representatives? Not even the journalists had ASUU at any time allowed in their meeting.
“ASUU said they are fighting for the students and at the same time denied students’ union representatives access to the negotiation meeting to contribute to the discussion or even act as observers.
“It is only in Nigeria that you have education sector sold into strike as it were, without recourse to the students; without giving a thought to the challenges it brings to the sector. Our people fail to understand that incessant strike reduces the quality of education.
“How do you expect a student that has been at home for two months to be able to cope with academics? People study, knowing that there are lectures, assignments and may be in preparation for examinations.”
To the government, Akpan said: “The government cannot constantly reach agreement and floor the agreement, it is unacceptable.