By Jessica Tamaradonye, Asaba
Thousands of Nigerian students under the umbrella of National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, today barricaded the Niger River Bridge head, in Asaba, in protest over the four month-old strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
The protest resulted in heavy traffic, preventing commuters and motorists from making their way to and from the eastern part of the country.
The angry students urged ASUU to put an end to the strike for the sake of posterity and receive the N40 billion offered by the federal government or go to court to seek redress rather than taking the law into its hands by embarking on an indefinite strike.
National president of NANS, Yinka Gbadebo, who led the protest, with support of his counterpart in the National Association of Polytechnics Students, NAPS, Salahadau Lukman, wondered who between ASUU and the federal government was deceiving students that are at the receiving end of the impasse.
Motorists and other road users were forced to make a detour through rough hedges of the road and path-ways before escaping the barricade mounted by the protesting students numbering over 5,000-strong who chanted solidarity songs.
The NANS president condemned the forceful stay at home students have been subjected to by the striking lecturers, just as he queried why ASUU was always using students to settle scores with federal government.
“Who will pay us for disruptions in our academic calendar? Our parents are tired, we too are also tired. Why are lecturers in state universities on strike against FG? Is FG equally responsible for infrastructures in state universities? What are the real demands of ASUU?”
While querying why ASUU was demanding for transfer of landed properties via the union’s holdings, the students debunked the allegation by ASUU that the students’ protests was being sponsored by the federal government just as they hailed President Goodluck Jonathan for offering over N40 billion to the union.