Activities were on Tuesday paralysed¬† for over three hours in Ibadan, as the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone D (Southwest) barricaded major roads and disrupted activities in some parts of the Oyo State capital.
The students numbering over 1000 from the Southwest States were protesting against underfunding and crises in the education sector, especially the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike.
The aggrieved students, rendering anti-government slogans, accused the Federal Government of insensitivity and demanded a proper funding of the education sector.
The protest which started around 9:30am, began from Agbowo, Mokola round-about, Total Garden, Agodi-Gate and ended at the Iwo-round about inter-change.
The¬†protest was supervised by Divisional Police Officer’s from different divisions with their hillux truck to ensure that hoodlums did not hijack it.
Led by NANS Southwest Coordinator, Monsuru Adeyemo aka (Socrates), the students in a communique, said there was an urgent need to save Nigeria’s education sector from total collapse from claws of capitalist ruling elites.
“As a result of poor government funding, in spite of stupendous wealth of the country, Nigeria’s public education, from primary to tertiary levels is bedeviled with lack of adequate facilities for proper teaching, learning and research. Hostel facilities in the few schools where they still exist are dilapidated and insufficient, that is why over 10 million children are out of school in Nigeria.
“Only just this year, about 1.7 million candidates sat for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and from the available space in all the universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in the country, less than 29 per cent of the total candidates will be admitted, thus leaving out over 1.2 million candidates.
While urging ASUU to take their struggle to next level with a nationwide mass action, the union leader noted that what the university teachers are demanding is for the improvement of the education sector, and with such, they cannot be indifferent with the content of the agreement just because of their fears about the academic calender.
Adeyemo said that the students union has to actively join the struggle to force the government to implement the agreement with all unions so that tertiary institutions can be reopened. “If this agreement is fully implemented, it will mean better funding of education and a great relief to overburdened students,” he said.
The union insisted that the Federal Government must “Honour the agreements signed with all the staff unions, Proper funding of compulsory, free and quality education at all levels from primary to tertiary level, reinstatement of all politically victimised student leaders, rejection of any form of harassment, intimidation or humiliation of Nigerian Students by the government, school management or staff.”
NANS also called for an outright rejection of Suswan Committee and demanded that the police must not be used to attack and kill students. “We also demand for a proper payment of SIWESS allowances for all universities, polytechnics, monotechnics, and Colleges of Education Vocational and Technical Students”