Some polytechnic students on Monday in Lagos staged a peaceful protest to appeal to the Federal Government to meet the demands of their striking lecturers to enable them return to classes.
The students, under the aegis of Concerned Students Against Education Commercialisation, appealed to the government to reconcile with the lecturers.
They said the strike, which is now over five months old, was becoming too long and could jeopardise their future.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the students disrupted vehicular movement for over three hours from Jibowu to Onipanu Bus-Stop on the ever busy Ikorodu Road.
The students chanted solidarity songs as they demonstrated in their hundreds, displaying various placards with inscriptions such as “HND is equal or greater than B.Sc” and “Stop the discrimination”.
Some placards also read, “we say no to strike,” “we want to go back to our classrooms” and “Education is our right not a privilege”, among others.
NAN reports that policemen from Sabo Police Station were on ground to prevent the protest from turning violent or being hijacked by miscreants.
Mr Joshua Ayokunmi, the Speaker, Student Union Government, Yaba College of Technology, urged the government to end the strike to save the future of youths studying in polytechnics.
Ayokunmi told NAN that the protest was to draw government’s attention to the yearnings of the students, who were being affected by the strike.
“We are protesting to show our frustration and we do not support the strike.
“We are not happy with the government because the strike is being prolonged unnecessarily.
“We want the government to meet the demands of our lecturers so that we can go back to school. We are pleading,” he said.
NAN reports that the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) embarked on an indefinite strike in September, 2013.
The union is protesting the non-release of the white paper on Visitation Panel to federal polytechnics and the non-commencement of the NEED Assessments of Nigerian polytechnics.
ASUP also said that government-owned polytechnics, monotechnics and colleges of technology across the country were in deplorable state.
The union wants a full implementation of the Consolidated Tertiary Institution Salary Structure (CONTISS 15) and a stop to discrimination against holders of HND among others.
NAN reports that the Federal Government had made an offer to pay N40billion to ASUP and Colleges of Education lecturers as CONTISS 15 arrears in two installments.
The government said it would pay the first installment in March and the second in September.
ASUP, had, however, turned down the offer and vowed to continue their strike, saying the government had yet to meet its demands.(NAN)