Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the leadership of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has threatened to disrupt political activities at the nation’s capital, Abuja, over the ongoing strike embarked upon by University Unions.
50-year-old NANS President, Mr. Sunday Asefon, in a statement obtained by CAMPUS GIST on Sunday, declared that political parties will not be allowed to hold convention in Abuja to elect their presidential candidates until the issue of strike is resolved.
The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had picked Abuja for its May Convention to select its presidential candidate. The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is also expected to settle for Abuja for its presidential primary holding not later than May 30.
But NANS in its statement, warned the political parties to either end the strike embarked upon by ASUU since February 14, 2022, or forget about holding any presidential primary in the nation’s capital.
The students’ group expressed anger that those saddled to ensure the smooth running of the education sector like the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; and his Labour and Employment counterpart, Chris Ngige; have picked up the outrageous N100m presidential forms of the ruling APC while students are rotting away at home.
The statement partly reads, “We have also in the past weeks seen those saddled with great responsibility in the education sector and those saddled with responsibilities of resolving labour crises declaring interest to contest for the seat of the President come 2023.
“We are surprised by their effrontery and total disrespect to the Nigerian people for having the courage to even mute the idea of contesting talkless of picking up the 100million naira presidential form while students languish at home because of their collective failures.
“Politicians have shown no concern to the plight of the students but are only busy in their selfish and inordinate ambitions to become the next President.
“Let me say without mincing words, the two major political parties should forget any political gathering in Abuja who elsewhere except there is a solution to the lingering ASUU strike.
“We will frustrate all the activities leading to the selection of party candidates if we remain on strike. We also want to advise the government and the politicians who are busy campaigning to be President to either resolve the ASUU crises or give direct orders to the security operative to shoot us at the site during party conventions to select a presidential candidate. If we remain on strike, they should just forget it.”
ASUU had on March 14, 2022, at the expiration of its one-month warning strike which it declared on Monday, February 14, 2022, rollover the industrial action by another two months which is expected to elapse May 14, 2022. But with the date drawing near and issues yet to be resolved, there are possibilities that the strike could be extended further to give government more time to meet demands.
★ Published by CAMPUS GIST.