The National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) has decried the efforts of the Federal Government (FG) in attending to the needs of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), stating that the FG is only toying with the future of students.
The student national body also warned that they will not hesitate to oust the government out of office with their votes come February general elections if things remain the same.
Speaking with Vanguard, NAPS spokesperson, Comrade Olasunkanmi Ijaduade, stated that the biggest losers in the lingering strike action by ASUP with the FG are the students, he also stated that the government seems to be more focused on the coming election than in the welfare of the students.
”Hours, days, weeks and months have passed by since the academic wing of the Nigeria polytechnic institutions begun an indefinite strike. The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) brought academic activities across all polytechnic campuses to a halt because it feels the government is poorly handling technical education in the country. The President of ASUP, Comrade Usman Dutse, highlighted the union’s demands as “the review of the Polytechnic Act; needs assessment; the issue of CONTISS 15; the issue of academic allowance, unpaid salaries in some states; and our victimised officials, but the critical ones are the needs assessment and Polytechnic Act.
”When two elephants fight, the grass, they say, suffers. The victims of the lack of compromise by ASUP and FG remain the helpless polytechnic students all over the country. We frown strongly with the negligence shown by the federal government.
”NAPS sees the lackadaisical attitude of the government as sheer wickedness and a deliberate act to further kill the already crippled education system of our dear nation Nigeria. What lesson does the federal government think they are giving the students and youths of Nigeria?”
Ijaduade, however, urged ASUP to keep NAPS abreast of any development because the students’ patience has been far exhausted. “This is not a fight that must be fought alone, ASUP must carry us along and other sister pressure groups should also join this cause. The Federal government sees them as having little or no weight to be given attention.
”Need we remind the FG that the general elections are just a few weeks to go? If they refuse to heed now, we won’t hesitate to separate the weed from the tulips by ousting them and their gross incompetence.”
Asked if the meeting with Mr President directly could turn things around since the issue is not being properly handled by the Minister of Education, Ijaduade responded: ”The leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and NAPS had met with the President on Januar 3 and the President promised us that there would be a development soon.
”Soon could mean a very long time in the Nigeria context. Our students are still at home when they should be back in school. The government seems obsessed with the elections and campaigns and give no credence whatsoever to this issue.”