From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The students of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Ambrose Alli University of Benin (AAU), Ekpoma and Edo State Polytechnic, Usen, all in Edo State, on Monday, barricaded the gate of the Benin airport, along Airport Road, over the prolonged strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Their activities resulted to a traffic gridlock at the Airport Road axis.
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The students in their large number also moved over to the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ) Edo State council to register their grievances.
Addressing newsmen at the NUJ secretariat, the Students Union Government’s (SUG) president, Foster Amadin, said the students believe in the efficacies of the media in reaching out to those connected with the impasse (the federal government and the ASUU) so that the students can go back to their various classrooms to learn.
“We are lending our voice and we are appealing to whosoever concerned, we have also come here as intellectual students that we are, we have also come here as students that know the importance of the media to express our displeasure over the lingering ASUU strike.
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“And we are just here to appeal to you to help us lend your voice to our voice so that it will be loud enough to get to those that will make the pronouncement and call us back to our classrooms”, he said.
Amadin said they are highly worried about the prolonged strike because age is not on their side noting that some of them are about clocking 30 years and that when they are above 30 years, they cannot go for their compulsory one year service to their fatherland.
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“The truth, is, we have been at home for over 80 days and even today, we saw again that the strike has been extended by three months.
“We are already approaching 30 years, some of us will not even go to service again and of course when we do not go to service, we are not able to get a good job because getting a good job, they will ask you for your Call-Up Letter and if you don’t have it, hitherto you don’t have a job”, the UNIBEN SUG president lamented.
On his part, the NUJ chairman, Festus Alenkhe, said the media would help convey their message to those concerned, stressing that the ASUU and the federal government should go back to the roundtable and dialogue for the interest of the students and for the nation at large.