Worried by the prolong closure of universities across the country, angry students under the aegis of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), University of Uyo (UNIUYO) Chapter, at the weekend defied the coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols and took to the streets in a peaceful demonstration, urging the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Unions of Universities (ASUU) to end the lingering crises for academic activities to resume.
The protesters had barricaded the Ikpa Road axis of the Town Campus of the university in the early hours of Friday with an ultimatum of seven days issued to the contending parties to accede to their demand.
Chanting solidarity songs and displaying placards of various inscriptions, the protesting students threatened to shut down Aso Rock and the National Assembly if their request is not acceded to within seven days.
Addressing the protesters, the NANS Zone ‘D’ Coordinator, who is a Mass Communication student of UNIUYO, Comrade. Etinyene Offongekpe, solicited for the immediate end of the protracted strike and charged those at the negotiating table to work towards speedy resolution of the impasse.
“We are sending this message to the Federal Government and ASUU. We are tired of staying at home, our rents have expired. We want to return and complete the academic year. We cannot accept this anymore.
“We call on the Federal Government to key in to the agreement it signed in 2019 and ASUU to shift grounds. We have come to express to the world that we cannot take this anymore.
“We are under instructions from the NANS Secretariat to shut down Abuja, seven days from now. We are mobilizing to move to Abuja, we will shut the National Assembly and Aso Rock,” he said.
The President Students Union Government (SUG) of the university, Comrade Emmanuel Akpan, called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly, Minister of Education and all relevant authorities to settle all grievances with ASUU in order to save the education system from imminent collapse.