The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has ordered all of its structures and organs to block all federal roads in protest of the country’s ongoing university closures.
With the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) extending its warning strike, NANS has called on students to block the roads for at least three hours every day until the Federal Government resolves its impasse with the aggrieved lecturers.
During his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, NANS National Public Relations Officer Victor Ezenagu declared the mass action dubbed “Operation Test Run.”
“We are poised to ensure that our campuses are reopened, and as such, the instruction has gone out to all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, calling on all our structures to begin (the mass action) immediately, beginning today, by barricading and blocking every federal road, every road leading to the airports, and ensuring that they remain on the street for at least three hours every day until the Federal Government does something about their impasse with ASUU fo.”
Following an ASUU warning strike in February, academic activities at public universities across the country have been halted.
Renegotiations of the 2009 agreement, a payment system for members, and the revitalization of the nation’s universities are among the issues that prompted the strike.
Following several failed negotiations between the government and ASUU, the union announced on Monday that the strike would be extended for another 12 weeks.
This exacerbates the plight of students whose hopes of returning to class have been dashed yet again, despite having been absent for nearly three months.
‘Operation Test Run,’ according to NANS, will be a prelude to a total shutdown, which will be decided during the Senate meeting/pre-convention on Saturday, May 14.
While the ASUU strike continues, students will occupy roads leading to airports and may be forced to disrupt political activities, such as party primaries to elect candidates for the 2023 general elections, according to the union.
“There will be no primaries, no political activities if our future is not resolved, if our future is not well decided, if the issue involving Nigerian students is not resolved, because we cannot be talking about next elections; we must be talking about the next generation.”
“What happens to the next generation if we are only concerned about elections?” Education is the only way to ensure Nigeria’s continued existence and improve its quality of life. We will not sit by and watch our fathers, who are nearing the end of their lives, play with our future.
“Unless the ASUU strike is resolved, there will be no primaries and no political activities in Nigeria.” We are not deterred; we are formidable; we are coming to shock Nigerians, the government, and everyone,” Ezenagu stated.