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UPDATED: Ekiti, Oyo, Ogun, Osun Workers Join NLC Protest

The planned protest by Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, in solidarity with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU is ongoing in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital.

The NLC members who converged on the popular Fajuyi Park, Ado Ekiti came from the sixteen local government areas of the state with different attires.

The protesters who carried placards with various inscriptions were guarded by security operatives to forestall break down of law and order.

Radio Nigeria Progress FM correspondent reports that the convoy of the protesters had left Fajuyi park for the house of Assembly and will later return to the governor’s office while protest letters will be submitted in all the places visited.

Federal Government has been urged to address the unwarranted situation in the education sector of the country.

Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Oyo State council, Comrade Kayode Martins stated this at the ongoing mega rally of the Union which began at NLC Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.

Comrade Martins described as unfortunate the federal government’s failure to meet the demands of the striking lecturers.

Also speaking, Chairman, Trade Union Congress, Oyo state council,  Mr Emmanuel Ogundiran stressed the need for government to sign the 2009 Agreement it had with ASUU.

Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, University of Ibadan Branch, Professor Ayoola Akinwole, said the nationwide mega rally was organized to show displeasure over the way the Federal government handled the ongoing twelve weeks strike.

Also speaking Chairman of ASUU Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Ogbomoso, Professor Biodun Olaniran, explained that the protest would reposition tertiary education in Nigeria and safeguard the future of Youths.

Radio Nigeria Correspondent reports that security operatives were on the ground to ensure a hitch-free protest.

Also, the two day protest declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC in solidarity with ASUU has kicked off in Akure, the Ondo State Capital.

The workers who turned out in large numbers included members of ASUU and other trade unions.

They wore branded shirts and converged on Cenotaph, Alagbaka as early as half past seven in the morning where they took off to popular locations within the metropolis.

The workers chanted solidarity songs as they marched through the popular Oba Adesida road in the state capital.

They held banners with the inscriptions “enough is enough” “End ASUU strike now ” among others.

Addressing the protesters, NLC Chairman in Ondo State, Mr Sunday Adeleye lamented the lingering ASUU strike which he said had crippled tertiary education in Nigeria and called on the Federal Government to accede to the demand of the university lecturers so that students could go back to school.

Mr Adeleye said NLC would not relent in advocating good governance to secure the future of Nigerians  especially workers and students

And in Ogun State, Labour Union members are currently on solidarity protests over the continuous face-off between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.

Chairman of the state chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Emmanuel Bankole who led the workers on the protest to major streets of Abeokuta called for immediate resolution of the crisis.

The State NLC Chairman called on the Federal government not to allow the destruction of the public Universities system.

 The workers carrying various placards walked round the Abiola Way by Leme junction to the Kuto area before proceeding to the State secretariat at Oke Mosan.

Earlier, the Ogun state command of the Nigeria police had assured residents of the state of their safety before, during and after the protest. 

The statement issued by the spokesperson of the command, Mr  Abimbola Oyeyemi in Abeokuta noted that protest was one of the inalienable rights of the citizens and appealed to NLC and other affiliated groups participating in the protest to be civil and be peaceful during the exercise.

The Police Command also advised parents and guardians to warn their children who may want to use the opportunity to foment trouble to also consider the consequences. 

In a related development, Osun State Workers joined their counterparts in the two days of protest declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress in solidarity with the Academic Staff Union of Universities over its protracted face-off with the Federal government.

At about 10 o o’clock in the morning, the workers converged on the NLC secretariat in Ogooluwa where they matched towards the government Secretariat in Abere..

In Osun, the protesters marched to the State House of Assembly with the slogan “Open our Universities today”

Speaking, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Vice chairman Osun State Comrade Gbadebo Awotayo said since 2009 the Federal Government made an agreement with ASUU but failed to fulfil the agreement. 

Comrade Awotayo emphasized that government at all levels should ensure proper funding of the Universities to secure the future of Nigerian Students. 

The State chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Comrade Wasiu Ajadosu noted that it was wrong for the Ivory towers to be closed for six months, stressing such would jeopardize the productivity of the undergraduates. 

Also contributing, Secretary Osun State University Alumni, Comrade Basit Olokuta called on the Assembly to see to the downward review of the tuition fee of the institution, which was too exorbitant for a common man. 

Comrade Olokuta stressed that the students are at the receiving end of the strike action embarked upon by ASUU in the last six months. 

Responding, The Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Mr Timothy Owoeye, who said the Assembly shared the plights of the Organized Labour Union solidarity protest, noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had given the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu two weeks ultimatum to resolve the crisis.

Mr Owoeye expressed the readiness of the Assembly to meet with stakeholders with a view for a downward review of the tuition fee of Osun State University in the interest of the common man. 

Fasilat Lawal/John Ebiofini/Wale Oluokun/Olaniyi Alade/Olaolu Fawole/Adenitan Akinola

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