Outraged by the long-drawn strike action by members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), members of the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) stormed the offices of the Education Ministry, demanding a resolution from the government.
ASUP embarked on strike action on 6 April 2021 over payment of salaries and arrears of the newly implemented minimum wage, and a yet-to-be implemented an agreement between the union and the Federal Government in 2010.
The President of NAPS, Sunday, Asuku, who spoke with journalists, said, “We are here to demand immediate reopening of our tertiary institutions. ASUP has been on strike for two months now and nothing has been done about it.
“Government is not saying anything about this and we want them to reopen the schools now or else we are not leaving.
“We have written to them but they have declined. The Federal Government workers are being paid their salaries and allowances likewise our lecturers, so who is going to pay the students for time wastage.”
Asuku decried the Federal Government’s slow response to the demands of the union, stating, “ASUP demanded 15 items from the Federal Government but was only able to get two which to us is not commendable.
“As a student body, we are interested in the government paying the lecturers their minimum wage which is accrued to two years.
“Other MDAs have received theirs since Nov. 2019, why holding our lecturers to ransom. If you can give them this, then we have the right to hold them accountable for not teaching.
“We want the government to call ASUP back to a round table and give them what belongs to them, else by Monday, we will grind the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.”
“Everyone of us is pained by what is going on in the polytechnic sector of our education, many of us spoke with ASUP at the time of their warning strike that we are not running an adhoc government.
“Nothing ends today, even if I die today, Nigeria will continue and there is nothing that will stop Nigeria.
“When ASUP wanted to start this strike, we wrote them and said everything that ASUP requested for has been agreed upon, we do not have one area of disagreement.
“On May 23, we communicated to ASUP and we have given them a catalog of everything that they said we should do that we have complied with.”