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University Students Protest Months Of Lecturers’ Strike Amid Heavy Security In Lagos

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MSome university students on Monday in Lagos protested against the ongoing strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
ASUU is the umbrella body of public university lecturers in Nigeria.

However, there was tight security around the University of Lagos (UNILAG) area where the protest was held as police patrol vehicles could be seen on standby.

The students in their large numbers marched towards the UNILAG front gate, chanting solidarity songs and displaying placards with inscriptions like ‘End ASUU strike,’ and ‘Is Federal Government Playing, What Kind Of Playing Is This’.

One of the protesting students, while speaking to BBC News Pidgin Live, said, “We are tired of staying at home, we are average students. By now I should have finished my undergraduate but I’m still a final-year student.

“For over four and a half years, I have been a student. I’m tired; for how many years will I be a student? FG (Federal Government) should please listen to the cry of ASUU, let us go back to our classrooms.”

Meanwhile, ASUU has extended its strike by 12 weeks.

This was confirmed by the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke who spoke to SaharaReporters on Monday morning.

The academic body took the decision at an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) held at ASUU Secretariat in Abuja.
The emergency meeting, which had in attendance principal officers and branch chairmen, started on Sunday and ended early Monday morning.

Members of the union had embarked on a one-month strike on February 14 over the failure of the Nigerian Government to honour the various agreements reached with them.

Some of ASUU’s demands include the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the UTAS payment platform for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers.

Following the expiration of the initial four-week warning strike, the union had gone ahead to declare additional eight weeks of industrial action, saying that it was giving the government more time to attend to its needs.

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