The National President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Sunday Asefon, speaks to SOLOMON ODENIYI about the association’s threat for a showdown in Abuja if the government fails to resolve the protracted strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities
You threatened that primary elections of political parties would not hold in Abuja if the protracted strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, which has kept students out of school, is not resolved. Why did NANS resort to such a threat?
In 2020, we were at home for more than nine months. ASUU strike started before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. We were still on ASUU strike when Federal Government relaxed its lockdown. For students to be at home for nine months means a whole session has been lost, all the activities for the year gone! In 2021, university managements tried to stablise our academic calendar, academic activities were being rushed with the hope that by 2022, everything will become balanced. It’s so unfortunate that the strike came in February when serious academic activities were in full and it’s very sad that up till now, there’s no clue as to the date ASUU will call off the strike.
Between ASUU and the FG, who do you think should shift ground?
It is sad no one is willing to. The Federal Government is threatening “No work, no pay;” ASUU is saying this and that. In all of this, students are the ones bearing the brunt. These two elephants are making us, the grass, to suffer.
The most painful thing to us is that nobody is talking about ASUU again. What they are all talking about is 2023 elections. It is totally wrong to forget us and concentrate on 2023 when a large population of the youth has been shut out of school. You cannot be talking about elections when our future is at stake.
Go and look at the population of students in the country, also check the statistics of INEC, it shows that students make up 45-50 per cent of the population of those who will determine who becomes governor in our various states as well as the president of the country.
It is this same youths you are neglecting; it is the same youths you have been toying with their future. You don’t care about them and you know education is the future of everyone of us.
Read the full interview, and drop your opinion.