By Adejumo Enock
The President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Sunday Asefon has declared that the Union will shut all private universities down if the long strike embarked on by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is not suspended.
The President expressed that the ongoing strike which has lasted for about 9 month is the longest Industrial action embarked on by ASUU.
While speaking on a PUNCH Online interview program, The Roundtable monitored by Breaking Times, he said, NANS will engage the Federal Government and ASUU leaders to find a lasting solution to resolve the any further advance argument in negotiations between the Federal Government and ASUU.
According to him, “In the history of ASUU strike, this is the longest ASUU strike so far, going to nine months now. My administration frowns at it. We will be meeting with the representatives of the Federal Government and that of ASUU to see how the two can shift grounds so that our students can go back to the classroom. It is just a story of where two elephants fight, the grass that suffers”.
“There must be a lasting solution, ASUU must stop this strike and Federal Government must listen to ASUU. The two should synergise, they should pity the common students who have been at home”.
Asefon further expressed that “If you are talking about money, the Federal Government will still release the money at the end of the day. The strike has not stopped the salaries of ASUU (members). But it is the students that are at the receiving end of this long ASUU strike.
“Before we mobilise our students to the streets to engage in a confrontation with the government, we believe ASUU and FG should sit and resolve the whole issue. That is our interest. We are tired of being at home. We want to go back to school.”
Similarly, “We have three Cs, we have embarked on the first C which is ‘Consultation’ and we are going to ‘Consolidate’ on our ‘Consultation’. We will get to a stage before the end of this year when we will get the two of them seated on a roundtable. We will force the two parties to make a decision because they are toying with the lives of Nigerian students”. He said.
The President stated that, “If they fail to resolve the issue, we are going to embark on the third C which is ‘Confrontation’. We are going to shut down all private universities in this country. And after that, we are going to engage in mass action. Because the majority of the children of ASUU (members) and the rich are in private schools and they are not affected. That is why they are toying with the lives of the common Nigerian students”.
Relatedly, Asefon said after meeting both arms and the strike still continues, the Students Union would shut down all tertiary institutions in the country.