Scores of concerned students in Oyo State converged on University of Ibadan (UI) Gate on Friday to stage a peaceful protest over ongoing warning strike by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Solomon Emiola, a 200 level student of UI, who led the protest in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan said the protest was needed because the students were tired of staying at home.
He said, “Our leaders have continued to politic with our future.
“Our goal is to shut down the whole of Ibadan, until our demand is met.”
He said the protest would continue daily until the government listens to the yearnings of the Nigerian students who are being delayed unnecessarily.
Another of the protesters who identified himself as Daniel Eyilabor said schools should be opened as his colleagues who didn’t go to school are living well and making progress.
“If we say that school is a scam, we will not be wrong because our lives are on hold and those who even graduated do not even have jobs.
“We have to stand up for our rights,” he said.
Also, Mr Emelieze Andrew, a former Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC), said the protest was to awaken the spirit of students whose rights were being trampled upon by the state.
Andrew said the lingering ASUU was due to the negligence and failure of leadership; citing various comments of stakeholders.
However, the protest took a new dimension, when the Student Union Leader of UI, Yinka Adewole, stopped the protesters from locking UI gate, adding that he was not aware of the protest.
Adewole said most of those protesting were not students of UI as the student union of UI, saying his members had planned their own protest for May 17 to show their grievances over the strike.
He ensured that the UI gate was reopened, in spite of the objection from the protesters.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards carried by protesters include: ‘Closing school is a treason’, ‘Education over Election’, ‘Road Closed end ASUU now’, among others.
NAN reports that movement to and fro along UI and Ojoo road was stopped while commuters took alternate routes to their various destinations.
NAN also reports that security agencies were on ground to forestall breakdown of law and order, including men of the police force, Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps and army. (NAN)