r Abidemi Adeleke, Chairman of the Oyo State chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has said they are just getting started after their protest paralysed vehicular movement on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports that the protesting students on Tuesday blocked the Lagos-Ibadan expressway in protest against the continued closure of the nation’s universities over the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The students in their hundreds blocked the expressway at Sagamu interchange in Ogun, leading to gridlock on the ever-busy road, a situation which left many motorists plying the road stranded with their passengers.
All entreaties to the aggrieved students by motorists and commuters did not yield any result as members insisted that they would not leave the road until their demands are met by the Federal Government.
Recall that ASUU had on Feb. 14, embarked on indefinite strike on the premise of inadequate funding of public universities, among other demands.
The protesting students, armed with placards of various inscriptions, were chanting solidarity songs, saying that they were tired of staying at home and demanded an end to the strike.
They also insisted that the Federal Government should yield to the demands of their lecturers for them to call off the strike.
In his reactions, Mr Abidemi Adeleke, NANS Chairman, Oyo State chapter, said that the students’ action followed the unresolved impasse between the Federal Government and the university lecturers.
“The protest was due to the lingering impasse between the Federal Government and ASUU, which had defied all solutions. We want the Federal Government to end ASUU strike permanently, that is why we are on the road protesting.
“This is just the tip of an iceberg. We are just getting started. Today, we are live at Lagos- Ibadan Expressway, just after Sagamu Interchange. And, tomorrow, by the special grace of God, we will be at another location, next tomorrow the same thing, until our voice is heard,” Adeleke said.
Several other students who spoke one after the other at the Sagamu interchange during the protest maintained that they will continue to occupy major highways in protest against the ongoing nationwide strike by ASUU.
Addressing journalists at the scene, Mr Afeez Akinteye, the National Vice-President, NANS External Affairs, said: “Our demand is not new; it is for the government to end the ASUU strike now.
“We have had enough of this. We started the protest today; we will continue until the strike is called off. We don’t want to know how they will do it, because government has the money and the power.
“We are just interested in going back to the classrooms, they should fund education and end the ASUU strike. With the new leadership of NANS, it is not going to be business as usual”.
Akinteye further said that the protest would be continuous, adding that students were ready to give it all it takes to go back to the classrooms.
“We have packed our loads from our homes and we are now ready for this struggle until the strike is called off. Over 500 of us from various universities nationwide are staging this protest, saying ‘End ASUU strike permanently,” he said.
Also, Mr Elvis Ekundina, the NANS Deputy Senate President, said that students would continue to block all the federal roads until the government resolve the issues with ASUU.
Ekundina said that quick action should be taken to enable the students to return to the classrooms, saying that they were most affected with the current faceoff between the Federal Government and ASUU.
Commenting, Mr Damilola Simeon, a NANS member, said that students were in support of proper funding of the nation’s educational sector.
Simeon appealed to the Federal Government to pay all the outstanding arrears and salaries of the lecturers.
”We are not in support of the policy of ‘No Work No Pay,” he said.