Provoked by the prolonged industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), the polytechnic students have given the Federal Government a three-day ultimatum to resolve issues with the striking lecturers or face mass protest by the students.
President of the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), Comrade Ogbonnaya Sunday, gave this warning in Abuja when he led the students’ body officials on a visit to the Minister of Education, Professor Ruquayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i.
He told the minister that NAPS had already mobilised over 10,000 students and were waiting to storm the streets of the nation’s capital in a mass protest if the Federal Government failed to resolve the issues for their lecturers to call off the strike on the expiration of the three-day ultimatum.
But the minister said over 60per cent of the demands by ASUP had been met, adding that the Federal Government was doing all it could to end the strike.
According to her, the Federal Government had honoured all agreements with the union in 2009, but expressed disappointment at the prolonged strike of the ASUP.
She said: “It is disheartening that the union will resort to strike without seriously considering the future of our children who are directly involved.”
NAPS president warned the government of the impending protest, saying, “may I state clearly that Nigerian polytechnic students, over 10,000 of us, are ready to embark on a mass protest if the Federal Government does not reach an agreement with the leadership of ASUP in the next three days.
“I must say here without fear, favour, or ill will that we will engage on an irreversible mass protest should the strike persist beyond Friday, July 12, 2013.”
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