Nigerian Soldiers Open Fire On Students Peacefully Protesting Prolonged Lecturers, ASUU’s Strike In Ondo
Some Nigerian Army personnel on Tuesday harassed and shot at students who are protesting against the ongoing strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Akure.
SaharaReporters gathered that the students had taken over Akure-Ilesa highway, protesting against the ASUU strike when the soldiers invaded the area and started shooting indiscriminately.
Their lecturers, ASUU, have been on strike since February 14.
The soldiers, according to a video seen by SaharaReporters on Wednesday morning, also vandalised the equipment of the protesting students.
“The Nigerian Army; they came here and started shooting. See all our things. See what the Nigerian Army did to us,” one of the aggrieved students lamented in the video.
“The Nigerian Army that should protect us; see our equipment. We were here peacefully. We are fighting for our rights. See all our things,” another student fumed in the video.
The Nigerian Army is yet to comment on the incident.
SaharaReporters had on Monday reported that students of tertiary institutions across the country took to the streets to protest the ongoing ASUU strike action.
SaharaReporters had gathered that the students, in their resolve to make the Nigerian Government and lecturers come to a reasonable conclusion, embarked on protests in some states to register their displeasure with the lingering strike.
ASUU had on February 14, announced a warning strike which was prolonged a month after, to allow the government to meet all of its demands. A 12-week extension was announced on May 9.
The academics are seeking improved welfare, revitalisation of public universities and academic autonomy among other demands.
One bone of contention for the academics is the non-payment of university revitalisation funds, which amounts to about N1.1 trillion.
But the Nigerian Government has said it doesn’t have the money to pay such an amount, citing low oil prices during the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
With students bearing the brunt of the disagreement, students of the University of Ibadan, Federal University of Technology, Akure and their counterparts from the Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ago Iwoye, Tai Solarin University of Education in Abeokuta, and the Federal University of Agriculture in Abeokuta have embarked on a protest on Monday demanding an end to the strike.
Some of the students in Oyo caused a roadblock at the University of Ibadan-Sango Road, on Monday. According to them, the roadblock will make others feel the brunt of their sufferings and call upon the government and the union to resolve their differences.