From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Nigerian students have stepped up their protests in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, by barricading some highways and shutting down the federal secretariat at Ikolaba over the strike embarked on by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which began on February 14, this year.
The protest on Tuesday led to traffic snarl around Orogun, Agbowo, Bodija, Agodi, Samonda and Sango, which caused grueling experience for motorists, motorcyclists and commuters.
The protesters, who carried placards, demanded an end to the three-month old strike. They want the Federal Government to yield to the demand of ASUU.
The inscriptions on the placards include: ‘Education is a right, not a privilege’, ‘I sha want to graduate sha’, ‘We are tired of staying at home’, and ‘Education is a right, it should be free for all.’
The protesters, who had converged on the entrance of University of Ibadan (UI), had moved from Agbowo, tnrough Bodija, to Ikolaba, paralysed activities within the areas and their environs. All the roads that lead to the main entrance of Oyo State Government secretariat, were also barricaded.
The President, Students’ Union Government (SUG), UI, Adewole Adeyinka, said about 40,000 students of the institution have been been at home, doing nothing based on the strike.
His words: “Students are in total support of ASUU because they are the one fighting for our rights, and that is why university education should be revitalised.There should be a way in which Nigerian educational system will not be in shamble, not only during strike FG should be listening to ASUU.”
According to him, the protesting students would continued to occupy the federal secretariat, adding that efforts were on top gear to turn classrooms on their campuses to playground, perhaps the government failed to do the needful.