The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has insisted that the planned meeting of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, with the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will not stop its protest scheduled to start today, Monday, September 19, 2022.
This was disclosed in a statement, released on Sunday, signed by its National Task Force Chairman on #EndASUUStrikeNow, Ojo Raymond.
The statement noted that even though NANS welcomed the Speaker’s intervention, its pledge to ground airports in the country would be executed.
Recall that Gbajabiamila had in a letter signed by the Clerk of the House of Representatives, Yahaya Danzarta, and addressed to the President of ASUU, Emmanuel Osodeke, expressed his concern over the failed negotiations between the Federal Government and the union, asking to meet with the union on Tuesday.
However, NANS said, “As much as we welcome the dialogue for Tuesday, we insist that the second phase of our action targetted at shutting down all international airports throughout the country continues. In fact, someone like Gbajabiamila should also come out to address the students.”
NANS also alleged plans to attack its members at the protest scheduled for Monday, saying this would be a violation of their rights to protest.
“And, we have also been duly informed of the plan of the government to attack us with both state and non-state actors. But, we want to state for the whole world to hear that if any student is attacked in the cause of the protest, someone like Gbajabiamila and his meeting will be discredited.
“Any attack on our protest would be a contravention and an assault on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, 1981, a treaty-turned-Act which does not accommodate derogation in any form, and Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which provided for Right to Freedom of Association and Assembly.
“It is on this note that we are calling on the international community to pay strict attention to our protest as we start a new phase tomorrow (Monday),” the statement added.
“We also call on all students to find their way to all the nearest barricades at the airports tomorrow as we shut down the country until the President Muhammadu Buhari government ends the ASUU strike by paying our lecturers and acceding to all the cardinal demands of ASUU as they are geared towards revamping our education at all levels,” NANS concluded.