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ASUU Strike: NANS defy downpour, shutdown Lagos airport

- Commuters stuck in traffic berate government

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THE National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) have today shutdown the Lagos airport over the prolonged strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The process began at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Toll gate plaza in the earlier hours of today from 8 am, where they stopped passengers from accessing the airport to board their flights.

Many vehicles were forced to turn back.

Around 9 am in the heavy downpour; another group moved down to Arik air’s office to block passengers from accessing MM2 or going down to the international terminal.

The students carried placards that read “our education is more important than your election and “education is a right, open our schools.”

They used that avenue to address angry commuters who were already held up in a traffic jam that extended into some parts of Ikeja.

NANS students
Blockade at International Airport. Credit: Joseph Olaoluwa/ICIR
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A former national Public Relations Officer (PRO) of NANS, Bestman Okereafor said the students would continue to shut down major facilities of the country till their voices are heard. He hit hard at the government for failing to invest in education.

He said, “We are tired of this irresponsible administration that does not have any value for education in Nigeria. It is disheartening that their children are not in Nigeria; they are schooling in the diaspora. Today, Nigerian students would continuously shut down every facility until the ASUU strike is called off.”

He added, “We are tired of staying at home.”

Similarly, a deputy Senate President, NANS, Ekundina Segun Elvis, said the students have come to occupy the streets to send a message to the Federal Government.”

Elvis said the government has to settle the matter because they have also paid school fees and house rents that were unused and therefore urged the government to go back to the table with the lecturers and pay them off.

Meanwhile, while the protest was ongoing, a convoy of black SUVs drove through the blockade, injuring a student.

Elvis promised to get justice for the injured student.

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“Few minutes ago, a VIP came through one way and hit one of our comrades, and ran away we want to let the world know that he would be brought to book, and we would do everything to make sure that justice is served based on what happened and here it won’t discourage us,” he said.

Commuters who were stuck along the entry into the GAT and MM2 sided with the students, noting that their own children were also stuck at home.

Oluwatobi Idowu told the ICIR that his siblings were no longer in the country due to the strike.

“My brother has been whisked away to Ghana,” he said in pidgin parlance.

Another commuter who gave his name as Popoola said the strike has not been good for his 400-level and 200-level children.

He said, “I have two children; both are at home suffering. They are giving me problems. This is wrong; the government keeps wasting our money for their own benefit.”

Just yesterday, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections, Atiku Abubakar,  lamented the collapse of public education in the country.

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The former Vice President of the country stated that the lack of education in the country was painful, and there was only little anyone in the private sector could do.

Author profile

Experienced Business reporter seeking the truth and upholding justice. Covered capital markets, aviation, maritime, road and rail, as well as economy. Email tips to jolaoluwa@icirnigeria.org. Follow on Twitter @theminentmuyiwa and on Instagram @Hollumuyiwah.

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