Nigerian students block access to international airport in protest over university lecturers strike

The Nigerian students under the aegis of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), on Monday embarked on a peaceful protest, blocking and barricading the main road linking the airport to Ikeja and Apapa-Osodi areas of Lagos State.

Penpushing reports that, the students in their hundreds were protesting against the lingering strike by the their lecturers under the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and defied the early morning rain to carry out the protest

The students assembled on the main road leading to the airport, few metres  after the toll gates, using their vehicles to barricade the road obstructing those driving towards the airport, while number of commuters, which include those travelling abroad through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, were  stranded.

Penpushing further reports that, the police wielding batons were sighted at the scene of the protest, to ensure the protest did not escalate or degenerate to any form of violence, while the students vowed to remain on the road until the Nigerian government and the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) reach a middle ground and academic activities resume on their campuses.

The protesting students were seen carrying placards with various inscriptions such as; “No Work, No Pay is a Fascist Talk. Pay Our Lecturers” and “No Education, No Movement”, while as the protest lasted many workers and travellers were forced to trek long distances.

Penpushing also reports that, leadership of the students posited that part of the association strategies is to obstruct movements across major airports so that the members of the elite and the ruling class can be reminded of the plight of the university students.

The protesters were sighted singing and dancing in circles, while officers of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Nigerian Police in the state were seen on standby in one of the videos of the protest posted on twitter

Penpushing reports that, the strike by the university lecturers is already more than seven months following the failure of the government and association to reach a compromise on the union’s demands, which include replacement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) as salary payment platform with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) which its members developed.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU),argued that  rather than ensuring accountability, Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS)  has enabled fraud in the system and that it failed to accommodate the peculiarities of the university system.

Penpushing further reports that, in same vein, the lecturers are also requesting the release of revitilisation fund for the universities as contained in the earlier agreements signed with the government, and the release of its members-earned academic allowance, among others.

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