The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has faulted the decision of some state-owned universities for joining ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
To this end, the leadership of the Nigerian students’ body, which labelled the action of lecturers of public universities in Nigeria as ‘unpatriotic and wicked’, asked those of state universities to immediately detach from the action and resume work.
NANS president, Sunday Asefon, in a statement to this effect, yesterday, said ASUU had lost the support of Nigerian students, given the unpatriotic disposition displayed by them in extending their strike indefinitely.
Asefon said students would no longer support the union’s call for intervention as he accused the body of being self-serving.
Asefon alleged that the decision to extend the industrial action after six months was easy for ASUU because they keep employment at various private universities around the country.
In a swift reaction, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU President, said his union did not ask for students’ help before it embarked on a strike.
Speaking on Channels Television’s “Politics Today” programme,Osodeke said students who had been kept at home because of the industrial action had not supported the union’s struggle.
The embattled Osodeke said: “Any day students and parents take over this struggle, ASUU will not have this problem. Had they supported any of our struggles, apart from going from one office to another? So leave that alone. Go and ask students in the street, not those leaders.
“What are we saying? Are our universities good? The public primary and secondary schools are dead but the teachers didn’t fight. As I speak with you, even with what we have now, we still have 99 per cent of students in public universities because of our struggle. And students will say ‘we are not supporting you.’ Did we ask for your support when we started this struggle?
“One, the government should tell Nigerians and us the money alleged to have been approved for revitalisation. How much is it and where is it lodged, and when will it be released?
“Two, UTAS, as means of paying salary, have they approved that? Three, have they accepted the agreement we reached with their panel? They should come and tell us this not just going to press.”