The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has reportedly threatened to disrupt the forthcoming elections if the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) fail to reach an agreement with the Federal Government and call off the strike.
During a peaceful demonstration on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, NANS Zone B, comprising tertiary institutions in the South East and South-South expressed their displeasure over the ongoing strike and called on the Federal Government to meet the lecturers’ demands or forget about the elections.
According to Vanguard, the students were seen wielding placards with messages such as:
“ASUU/ ASUP strike, Another way to increase crime”; “No resumption, no election”; “We are tired of endless negotiations”; “End strike now”; “NANS Zone B wants Her Students back on campuses”; Nigerian Students have bright future; do not truncate it with strike”; “NANS Zone B says no to strike” and “Save education, end strike now.”
Speaking during the protest, Comrade Okereke Godson, NANS zone B coordinator said students can’t afford to be at home while the country holds general elections in 2019. He said:
“Students constitute 46 percent of the electoral strength in this country and if the federal government fails to end the strike, we see it as a deliberate attempt to rig the poll because the election cannot hold while we remain at home. Let them open our campuses or election will not hold.”
ASUU declared an indefinite nationwide strike on Sunday, November 4, 2018, at its NEC meeting held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure and since then, both the union and the Federal Government have been going back and forth to resolve the crisis.