As the indefinite strike embarked on by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics enters the sixth day, the National Association of Polytechnic Students has given the Federal Government 14 days to resolve the crisis or be faced with mass protest by students at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
The students’ body said the protest at the Aso Rock Villa would be held during the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting if the government did not attend to the ASUP strike before the day.
NAPS made this decision known in a press statement obtained on Friday and signed by its President, Salaudeen Lukman, and the Public Relations Officer, Olugbode Hammed.
ASUP had announced the commencement of an indefinite strike on Monday after a National Executive Council meeting held last Saturday at the Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna State. The union had said it embarked on the strike as a result of the alleged failure of the government to implement the agreements it entered with it since 2016.
The ASUP President, Usman Dutse, had said the union’s demands included the non-implementation of the assessment report, shortfalls in salaries and withdrawal of allowances.
The polytechnic students’ body said on Tuesday that they were not ready “to waste 11 months at home as we did in 2013”, demanding that the government should attend to the lecturers. The statement partly read, “We are appealing to the Federal Government to expedite action to resolve its impasse with ASUP, whose national industrial action commenced on Monday.
“It is essential to state that [we] students will not be patient like we were in 2013 when over 11 months were unjustly taken away from us. The Federal Government and ASUP must find a common ground for the sake of our future.
“If there is no resolution in the next 14 days, the government should expect the students in a mass protest at the Aso Villa Gate during every weekly Federal Executive Council meeting.
“ASUP must equally deploy other means of pressing home its demands rather than an industrial action which affects only the students. We must stop being the victims of every industrial crisis.”
Meanwhile, the Zone B Coordinator of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Mr. Abdullahi Yalwa, on Friday insisted that the ongoing indefinite strike embarked upon by the union would not be called off until all their demands had been met.
Yalwa stated this while briefing journalists at the Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa, Nasarawa State.
He said that though the government had promised many times to address polytechnic lecturers’ demands, it had failed many times.
“It is not that we enjoy embarking on strike action because there is nothing that satisfies teachers more than teaching. But, we are being constrained,” he said.