By Funmilayo Adeyemi
Abuja- The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone D, on Monday threatened to shutdown major airports if the face-off between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government continued.
NANS South West Zone Coordinator, Mr Adegboye Olatunji, made this known in Abuja on Monday, at a protest to All Progressive Congress (APC) Secretariat in solidarity with Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun to run for second term.
Olatunji said that it was time both parties came together to resolve the issues leading to the strike as students were at the receiving end.
“We are planning to block government organisations that generate money for them if the ASUU issue is not resolved.
“We have been protesting on this issue by occupying major roads in the South West but we believe if we ground airports, the government will do something about the strike,” he said.
Olantunji said that the student body had dissociated itself from Abiodun’s prosecution and disqualification from contesting 2023 elections.
He said Abiodun’s education policy remained enviable in the South West region because his coming on board had helped in the resuscitation of some tertiary institutions in the state.
“Their call for prosecution and disqualification of Gov. Abiodun from running for second time in office through their petition to the EFCC copied to the National Chairman of the APC is nothing but ruse that cannot stand the test of time.
“We wish to advise them and their sponsors of this unwarranted political venture to follow the right channels through legal means to prove their allegations as their claims are nothing but figment of imagination.
“As students’ leaders from South West, we can state unequivocally that the way and manner Abiodun is conducting the affairs of Ogun has hitherto improved the standard of living of all residents in the State.
“And of great concern to us as students is the improvement in the standard of education in Ogun State. His adherence to rule of law in managing the affairs of the state is highly remarkable to us as young people,” he said.
Olatunji, however, said that the student body passed a vote of confidence on the governor for his commitment and sacrifices toward education development in the state.
Also speaking on the alleged N80 billion fraud by the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, NANS Joint Campus Committee (JCC) Chairman, Mr Damilola Kehinde said the alleged fraud was a slap on the integrity of the country when students were at home due to the ASUU strike.
Kehinde said that the educational sector was suffering as the country was not able to implement the UN recommendation of 26 per cent budget on education.
“We have been at the forefront of the ASUU struggle ever since it commenced, we have shut down most of the federal roads in south west agitating that the Federal Government listen to the plight of ASUU.
“We have not kept our sword in fighting for the lecturers and the generality of the students.
“If government officials or politicians can upgrade themselves every three months spending billions of naira for wardrobe allowances, I don’t think it is wrong to also equip our academics.
“What ASUU is clamouring for is not up to what a single person is embezzling. I think it is high time government has to rise by using some of these persons as deterrent to others,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that inscription such as ‘Moving Ogun Forward’, we need Dapo Abiodun, Dapo Abiodun, a silent achiever, Dapo Abiodun, the people’s choice’, among others were written on the placard during the protest. (NAN)