The President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Sunday Asefon, has warned of a total shut down if the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, fail to end the prolonged strike by the end of December.
Asefon issued the warning while lamenting the incessant strike actions by lecturers, which have crippled academic activities in the country.
He said the federal government and the striking lecturers need to come to a round table to find a lasting solution to the reoccurring impasse.
The newly-elected student leader said this in Abuja when he paid a visit to Comrade Daniel Onjeh, one of Nigeria’s most respected student activists who led NANS 18 years ago.
He said he had come to seek guidance and advice from Comrade Onjeh in recognition of his excellent stewardship of the organization.
The university lecturers’ strike, he added, negatively impacts Nigerian students, educationally and financially.
He noted that most of the students who paid for accommodation lost their money because of the strike and they have to pay new rents when schools reopen as their landlords do not care.
Asefon said, “Ours, we have decided that we want to fight for the interest of the Nigerian students. The issue of ASUU strike, making our students stay at home every time must come to an end.
“If there is an agreement between the federal government and ASUU, the FG should as a matter of urgency try to honour the agreement, and if there is none, they should come out to tell us because we cannot continue to allow our students to stay at home every year, it is not fair.
“It is sad that most of our students who are studying a five or four years course, end up spending up to seven years on campus due to this industrial action by lecturers, this is against the curriculum of the Nigerian student.
“During the course of my campaign, I visited most of the universities in the country and discovered that students in one of the schools are paying as high as N185,000 as acceptance fee. To us it is fraudulent, to us is a scam.
“These are things we are going to put an end to.
“Let it be on record that if by the end of this December, if the federal government and ASUU fail to come to a conclusion and our students return to class, we shall embark on a total shutdown.”
The new NANS President used the opportunity to sound a warning to lecturers in higher institutions of learning in Nigeria, who demand sex for marks from female students. He promised to pursue every legal means to ensure the sexual predators are flushed out of schools and prosecuted.
In his response, Onjeh advised him to domesticate NANS activities by prioritizing the interests of Nigerian students, whom he swore to, defend and protect, in all ramifications.
He urged him to be true to the organization’s constitution and its charter of demand whose tenets are geared towards the enhancement of the educational system and the development of Nigeria.