The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has said its members would embark on a mass protest if the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) should resume its recently suspended strike.
ASUU had on Wednesday suspended its nine-month-old strike conditionally after a lot of foot-dragging in negotiations between the Nigerian government and the lecturers.
Its president, Biodun Ogunyemi, however, warned that the union would resume the industrial action without notice if the government failed to meet its part of the agreement.
But in an interview with Punch on Thursday, NANS President, Sunday Asefon, said it was embarrassing and ridiculous for ASUU to threaten a fresh strike after many months of shutting down schools.
He also urged the Nigerian government to be committed to fulfilling its agreement with ASUU while the union must be wary to go on strike.
Asefon said, “It is a slap on us for ASUU to say they are calling off the strike conditionally. If they call it off conditionally, we will also put on hold our plan to engage the Nigerian government and ASUU on a mass action. But if they also resume their strike, we will also go to the streets, if that is the only language they understand, we will speak it to them.”
The NANS president, however, said, “Never again should we have a repeat of this strike and stakeholders must make commitments to ensure that this ugly scenario does not repeat itself. ASUU must seek to exhaust every window of alternative resolution before deciding on industrial actions.”
He also canvassed for inclusion of students in future negotiations between ASUU and the Nigerian government.
“Future negotiations must involve students’ representatives as we believe this will bring a sense of urgency to the table as the parties will be compelled to understand that students across the country are the grass when the elephants of ASUU and the Nigerian government fight,” Asefon said.