The Joint Action Front (JAF) kicked off the national protest to save public education around central slogan of “Education is a Right” on Tuesday August 13, 2013 in Lagos. The protest march held in collaboration with Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) and National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone D took off from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Secretariat Yaba and terminated at Maryland. The vehicular movement on the ever-busy Ikorudu road was paralyzed for over 3 hours the protest march lasted. The main demand of the protest is for Federal and State Governments to implement agreements with ASUU, NASU, SSANU, NAAT, ASUP, SSANIP, COEASU, and SSUCOEN & NUT.
This is imperative to facilitate adequate funding of education at all levels and immediate reopening of universities which have been closed as a result of government’s failure to implement agreement signed with ASUU. Implementing the agreements with all the unions will also forestall closures of schools and institutions as a result of strikes by other education workers unions. The closure of universities came on the heel of reopening of polytechnics which were shut down for 3 months due to the failure of government to implement agreement with ASUP and SSANIP. On the front burner of the demands of students in the protest are the cancellation of fees and independent students’ unionism on campuses in addition to the adequate funding of education up to the UNESCO recommendation of 26% budgetary allocation.
Similar protests and rallies are to follow in Ibadan, Kano, Calabar, Owerri and Abuja in the coming weeks. The rallies are buildup towards a NATIONWIDE MASS PROTEST that will become inevitable should the Government remains insensitive.
|Achike Chude JAF Deputy Chair|
|Monsuru Adeyemo, NANS Zone D Coordinator|
|Chibuzor Asumogba, ASUP National President|
|COEASU Chair, Adeniran Ogunsanya Collage of Education Lagos|
|Ademola Aremu, National Treasurer ASUU|
|Hassan Taiwo Soweto, Coordinator ERC|