OAU, UNISOUN Commend Action
School children of Sunshine Nursery and Primary School, Ile-Ife, Osun State, stormed the main gate of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Monday in protest of the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The school children who were led by their teachers sang solidarity songs in support of ASUU and called on the Federal Government to end the strike.
The pupils, who are between four and seven years, carried placards with various inscriptions such as “I sm the future ASUU, make no mistake about it,” “Adamu Adamu are you there?,” “Don’t borrow our future away,” among others.
While their female teachers were singing “students, what do you want,” the pupils chorused “I see ASUU, fighting for me.”
The action of the pupils however caught the attention of passers-by, a situation that caused traffic gridlock at the university’s gate for over one hour.
Reacting to the protest, the Chairman of OAU ASUU, Dr Adeola Egbedokun, said the protesters called on the federal government to look at the future of students and end the strike.
Speaking with Daily Sun on telephone, Egbedokun said: “I appreciate the children who were at the gate of OAU to stage a very short protest in solidarity with our union. If you look at the kids and the placards they were carrying, you will notice that they have a passion for education and the future of our country. Unfortunately, we have an insensitive government that is not ready to listen to anybody. What the children did is show that the government of Nigeria has failed.
“We want to appeal to the government, at least, to look at the future of these kids. What ASUU is fighting for is that government should not do what they did to the public primary and secondary school to tertiary education. We don’t want a situation whereby it is going to be only private universities that our wards will now be looking for,” he added.
On his part, the Chairman of ASUU, Osun State University (UNIOSUN), Wende Olaosebikan, commended the pupils for their solidarity.
He said, “We have to look at it from another angle. We have to look at it from the point of view of their parents, teachers, brothers and sisters who have been denied their daily means, who have been locked out of school for more than five months. Don’t let us look at it from the angle of the minors. If we look at it from the brother’s perspective, we will see that the agony of the parents, of the teachers, of those pupils, is what we are seeing.
“The FG should end this strike. The key to ending the strike is with the government and it can be done within 24 hours. It is only that there is no political will to do it. What we have witnessed is just a child’s play compared to what we are going to witness across the nation. We appeal to the federal government to end this strike now before it leads to another thing,” he added.