ASUP Strike: Travellers stranded as poly students protest

The ancient city of Abeokuta, Ogun State  capital  was, yesterday,  shut down for hours when the students of polytechnics in Ogun State protested the  strike  by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP,  and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics, SSANIP.The students, numbering over 200, drawn from three polytechnics in Ilaro, Igbesa and Abeokuta under the  auspices of National  Association of Polytechnics  Students, Ogun State axis blocked some major roads in the ancient city.

Students Of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, in a peaceful protest over the nationwide strike embarked upon by Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) in Abeokuta on Thursday (27/6/13).

Armed with placards with inscriptions such as: ‘Government please. don’t jeopardise our future’, ‘Government, don’t destroy polytechnics’, ‘Federal Government  please save our souls’ and ‘Our lecturers deserve the best’ among others.

The aggrieved students caused  gridlock in Panseke, Oke-Ilewo, Ibara, Kuto and Oke-Mosan.

Some travellers who were going to Abeokuta as well as those leaving the city were held up in the traffic jam for hours as the students used their school buses to block Presidential boulevard along Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta .

Attempt by the students to enter the governor’s office in Oke-Mosan was, however, unsuccessful as security men shut the gates against them.

It took the intervention of policemen who persuaded the aggrieved students to free the road.

The students were later attended to by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Taiwo Adeoluwa, on behalf of the Governor Ibikunle Amosun, who was not around at the time of the  protest.

Speaking  on behalf of the students, Chairman Caretaker Committee of the Students Union Government, MAPOLY, Mallam Abdulghaffar Adeleye, lamented the insensitivity of the Federal Government to their plight, noting that issues that warranted the strike bordered mainly on the demand for better funding of polytechnics in the country.

We are tired of staying at home

Adeleye said they decided to approach the governor for his intervention, regardless of the nature of the issue involved because of the attention his government is giving to matters relating to educational development in the state.

He said: “We have been at home for 64 days now. It is regrettable to note the insensitivity of the Federal Government to the plights of these polytechnic staff, perhaps not taking into cognisance the number of students who are currently idle and might be used to perpetrate evils.

“We know this issue is beyond the state governor but we believe Governor Amosun values education and being a polytechnic graduate himself he will help us resolve this matter between our schools and the Federal Government.”

We will step in, Amosun assures

Responding on behalf of  Governor Amosun, the SSG assured  the students that his administration would step in and help to resolve the matter.

The governor also assured that he would take the matter before the Federal Government for quick settlement, affirming that his administration places a high premium on education.

He said: “Since we came, we have not taken our students for granted and we will not take you for granted. As a government, we have always applied about 25 per cent of our budget to education because to us education is key to development.

“Your demands are clearly beyond us, but as you have requested, we will take your case to the Federal Government because we are also not happy about the development.”


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