Polytechnic students across the country on Thursday, staged a peaceful protest, and gave the Federal Government a two week ultimatum to resolve all issues with the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) or face the wrath of Nigerian students.
The students, who blocked some major streets in Kaduna in protest of the lingering strike embarked upon by ASUP, also demanded for the immediate resignation of the Supervising Minister of Education, Nyemson Wike, for failing to resolve contending issues with the lecturers and also vowed not to support President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election in 2015.
The protest forced motorists and pedestrians to be stranded at the ever busy Muhammadu Buhari Way in the state capital.
The protest which started at about 10AM caused a traffic jam on the road leading to the Muhammadu Buhari Way, as the students barricaded the way.
Marching slowly with placards of various inscriptions and chanting anti-government songs, the students moved down to the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kaduna State chapter, located along the same road, where they addressed journalists.
The students also lamented the alleged insensitivity of the Federal Government to their plight and the wasting of public funds on meaningless ventures that have no positive impact to national development.
They also noted that they would be left with no choice than to storm the nation’s capital, Abuja, to disrupt the ongoing national conference if the federal government does not implement all agreements it reached with the polytechnic lecturers since 2009.
Other demands by the aggrieved students include the review of discrimination policy between polytechnic and university graduates, source of N20 Billion required by ASUP and immediate conversion of the National Board for Technical Education to National Polytechnic Commission.
The students noted that the protest was a warning to the Federal Government for unleashing hardship on them and cautioned that if ASUP and the Federal Government fail to reach a compromise that could lead to the reopening of the Polytechnics, they would have no other alternative than to embark on a nation-wide protest.