The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) is set to begin a mother of all “Student’s Mass Action” on September 05, 2017 in defense of nation’s posterity which is currently been toyed with.
For almost three (3) weeks now Nigerian students of public universities in Nigeria have been at home for no fault of theirs, instead because of government inability to live up to its statutory responsibilities to the country.
ASUU had on August 14, embarked on an indefinite strike to demand the implementation of the 2009 agreement with the Federal Government on conditions of service, funding, university autonomy and academic freedom.
Since then, deliberations between the two parties (FG and ASUU) to suspend the industrial strike which has crippled academic activities across campuses in the country ended in deadlock.
Calls by students under the aegis of NANS who are always at the receiving end urging both parties to find a common ground in the interest of nation’s education also fell on deaf ears.
While ASUU are genuinely making every effort to put our universities at par with their counterparts across the world, the present government has unfortunately maintained such posture as “insensitive”, suggesting it doesn’t give a damn about its students.
Contradictory statements in the past days only justifies this common jealously-held opinion of Nigerians, especially at the grassroots, that our leaders have no regard for the people whom entrusts and empowers them to mann public affairs on their behalf and interest.
Indeed our political class are yet to get their bearing. They pay more attention to their personal gains to the detriment of the education of our youth. They forget that no nation can rise if the youth are not properly educated and technologically oriented.
After all, why won’t our political elite be so adept at gambling with the future of the youths? They can afford to care less about the education sector because their children are in safe and comfortable environments abroad. While those whose children are not schooling abroad put their children in private universities. That is why they are prepared to ignore public tertiary institutions in the country.
From President Buhari, Vice President Osinbajo, Senate President Saraki, Rt. Hon. Dogara, Gov. Rochas etc, the story is all the same. Recently, we have seen pictures of some of these top public officials as they joyfully without shame appear with their children on the pages of newspapers or on television screens announcing the graduation of their children from Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, London School of Economics and other high ranking universities in the world. Indeed, some of our leaders have no shame and honour!
In view of this and in furtherance of NANS charter of demands, the apex students body is set to begin a mass action for students to return to their classrooms and also for education to be given its due priority in our budget at all level of governments.
Recalls that NANS President, Comrade Aruna Kadiri had a week ago in a press statement urged the federal government to resolve the impasse with ASUU to call-off the strike which unfortunately has failed to do so.
“We have had enough of toying with the future of students. The FG must do everything possible to get ASUU back to the classrooms since the strike was a result of their inability to honour their negotiated agreement with ASUU,” the statement by President Kadiri reads.
On behalf of the President, I want to publicly use this medium to invite all Nigerian Students both home and diaspora to be part of this planned mass action to save the tertiary institutions from total collapse. We must not allow our education system to die before our voices be heard. Remember, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
The take-off point for the protest is Unity Fountain Abuja by 10:00am prompt. Freedom cometh only by struggle.