Students of public universities in Nigeria have said all is set to ground activities at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at the nation’s federal capital territory (FCT), Abuja.
The latest decision followed the success recorded in Lagos on Monday when human and vehicular movement into and from the Muritala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) was obstructed for hours.
The protesters, under the umbrella of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) defied the early morning rain in Lagos on Monday and barricaded the road leading to the airport using both official and personal vehicles.
They said the decision to impede movements at the airports was part of the strategies to “take the battle to the Nigerian elites so that they could feel the plight of the public university students.”
Major public universities in the country, particularly those owned by the federal government, have been shut since 14 February when the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) commenced its nationwide strike.
The union, which is the umbrella for the university lecturers in Nigeria, is demanding improved welfare condition for its members, adequate funding of universities, and the replacement of the government introduced payment platform- Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution. The latter was designed by ASUU following complaints against IPPIS over alleged poor standardisation and incompatibility with the university system.
The protesting students, who have recently resumed nationwide protests following the failure of both the government and the striking ASUU to reach a compromise, vowed to “shut down” Abuja Airport and the Abuja-Kaduna expressway on Wednesday.
In a statement signed by the Chairman of NANS Taskforce to End ASUU Strike in Kaduna State, Dominic Philip, all national executive members of the union and student leaders across various campuses in the state are asked to converge on the Kaduna on Wednesday to demand an end to the strike.
The statement, which was obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, reads in part: “In respect to the nation-wide protest by our dear association NANS in demand of ASUU strike to be called off, I write to inform you of the total shutdown of the Abuja – Kaduna expressway end at Gonin Gora by Federal Cooperative College, Kaduna.
“In this regard, all National Excos, Zonal Excos in Kaduna, JCC b7, SUG’s/ SRC Executives, Parents, good spirited country men and women, and gentlemen of the press are, by this circular, invited. All SUG’s in the state are to mobilise with their union vehicles and personal vehicles to the venue.”