Coalition backs ongoing NANS nationwide protests

By Tunde Joshua

An amalgamation youths organisations within and outside Nigeria, advocating a better society, has backed the ongoing protest by students in states of the nation over the prolonged strike action by university teachers.

The Coalition for A Better Nigeria, with base in the South West, which expressed serious worries about the six months’ strike of the Academic Staff Union of the Universities (ASUU) said academic calendar in the institutions have been greatly distorted. Member organisations of the coalition unanimously commended the Nigerian students for coming out to protest this stalemate, deadlock and academic impasse.

The Coalition was disappointed that upon all frantic efforts made so far by the ASUU, Federal Government and National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) to resolve this logjam in good time, it is not yet Uhuru!

While we are seriously appealing to the Federal Government to take this matter serious more than ever before, the Coalition bemoaned the demand by ASUU that it’s members be fully paid salaries due to them while the industrial action lasts.

“We must also remind the ASUU members of their inalienable right to get their 6 months’ salary paid to them for work not done, which will be to the disadvantage of the Nigerian economy.

“This simply means, the tax payers’ monies are being used to pay for the zero service being rendered by the members of the Academic Staff Union of the Universities,” the Coalition cautioned.

It stressed that the main victims of the crisis are the students, students’ Communities and society at large.

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“The summary of this is that while the Federal Government is trying to meet up with a reasonable number of the 2009 agreement which it made with the ASUU, it’s also important for the ASUU to soft pedal for the time being, if it really has the interest of the above victims at heart. “Otherwise, we may need to come in fully and join hands with our NANS Comrades to quickly unravel this unpalatable situation.

“Enough is enough” and “A stich in time saves nine.” Commenting on the dastard killing of a female student, Deborah in Sokoto, the Coalition strongly warned individuals to desist from taking laws into their hands or encourage jungle justice.

“We sympathise with the bereaved families, friends, associates and the government of Sokoto State on the beating and burning to death of a 200 level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto State, Deborah Samuel, which occured last Thursday in broad daylight. While the 2 holy books, Bible and Quran, preach love, peace, and harmony, some people with ulterior motive always go to the extreme in the name of religion.

“The brutal killings are just on the increase in Nigeria simply because nobody has ever been logically prosecuted and punished for such inhumane treatment. Therefore, it is high time we brought this to an end in the interest of peace,” said the Coalition.

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