Students of University of Nigeria Nsukka town have applauded the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for suspending the over three-month-old nationwide strike.
In an interview with our correspondent in Enugu on Friday, the students said the suspension of the strike was a welcome development as it would enable them to return to class.
The President of Students Union Government (SUG) in University of Nigeria Nsukka, Mr. Fortunatus Chimezie, commended ASUU and Federal Government for calling off the over three- month-old strike. “The suspension of the over three-month-old strike was a welcome development.
I am happy that ASUU and Federal Government finally agreed to suspend the strike. “This strike the union embarked on November last year paralysed academic activities in public universities in the country. “With the suspension of the strike, students will rush back to school having wasted much time at home,” he stated.
Chimezie urged government to do everything within its capacity to ‘nip in the bud’ any issues that will lead to strike in public universities In future”. Miss Ukamaka Odimegwu of the department of Theatre Art, UNN, said she thanked God who touched the minds of ASUU leadership to suspend the nationwide strike on Thursday. “I hope lecturers will start lecture on Monday in order to recover time wasted.
“I know many students will use the weekend to rush back to school, having being tired staying at home for the past three months”, she said. It would be recalled that the National leadership of ASUU after its meeting with the Federal Government on Thursday in Abuja decided to suspend the nationwide strike.
Also, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has lauded the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for calling off the three-month-old industrial action in universities. NANS’ National Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Bestman Okereafor, gave the commendation in a statement issued on Friday in Enugu. “We wish to commend this positive gesture by the Federal Government and ASUU, even though we have engaged both parties during the cause of the three months old strike.
“We significantly used the third C of ALUTA via the Jan. 30, Niger Bridge protest organized by NANS Zone B with the full support of other zonal coordinators. “Our commendation is however based on the facts that university students can now go back to school to continue their academic pursuit, even as the suspension of the long strike will give students the opportunity to exercise their franchise in the forthcoming election,’’ he said.
According to him, NANS is passionately appealing to the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) strike soonest, to allow the polytechnic students to get back to school. “NANS is finally calling on the government to find long lasting solution to the issues of incessant strike actions in higher institutions as it has been doing more harm than good to students,’’ he said.
Also, parents and students in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have commended the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for the suspension of the three-month strike. Mrs. Achonwa Mary, a parent whose child is in the University of Abuja, said she was happy the three months old strike had been suspended.
Mary, who is a civil servant, however, appealed to the Federal Government to keep to their promise by meeting the demands of ASUU to avoid further strike action. “Though I am happy that the strike has been suspended, I have to look for money to send to my son to enable him go back to school. “Before the strike, I had settled him, including providing for his upkeep, during the strike I had to spend extra money on him; my appeal is for a permanent solution to end these strikes.’’
Mr. Sunday Chigozie, a businessman in Aco Estate, who has two wards in Nasarawa State University, Keffi, also expressed happiness that the strike had been suspended. Chigozie said that the suspension of the strike was a relief for both parents and students.
He said that he was particularly happy because many of the students who had been idle during the strike could return to school. “During the strike I had to engage my two children in my shop, so they do not become idle and engage in social vices. “I hope this country will not witness this kind of strike again because I believe this government will keep to its promise. ‘’
Mrs. Grace Yussuf, a public servant, who also has two children in the university, said she was happy the strike had been suspended, adding that she wished it was called off and not suspended. Yussuf appealed to the Federal Government to keep to its promise so that the strike would not resume. “If the education system keeps being disrupted, it is telling on everyone, the parents, students and the whole nation.” ”I think government should prioritise its expenditure by giving priority to key sectors of the economy.
“The world is watching, please this strike should not resurface; government should show commitment and seriousness to meeting the demands even if it is gradual, so we can have a permanent solution to these strikes.’’
Ola Alonge, a 100 level Computer Science student of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, said he was happy the strike had been suspended so he could continue with his studies. “I am so happy that ASUU has suspended the strike because I just got admission after waiting for four years. “I pray they will not go on strike again; I appeal to the government to please settle ASUU so that they can focus on teaching the students.
Joceberd Taiwo, a 400 level Human Anatomy student of Federal University of Technology, Akure, commended the Federal Government and ASUU for reaching an agreement to suspend the strike “This means so much to us as students, we are tired of staying at home.
“The strike is not good for our education system, it is killing the output we should get as a nation, these strikes do not encourage students, it only discourages us. “Though I used the period to learn tailoring, which I have added to my knowledge, the truth is that not everybody will learn skills, some might just `party’ or engage in various vices and this will have a negative effect on them.’’