The National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) on Saturday gave seven days ultimatum to Gov. Mr Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to unconditional reopen the state university in Anyigba.
A statement signed by the National President of NANS, Mr Tijani Shehu, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, stated that the ultimatum would take effect from July 4.
It said that the association called on the governor to immediately address their requests bothering on the state’s economy, welfare of Nigerian students of Kogi State origin and state workers.
It said that failure of the government to do so; the association student would stage a protest on the streets of the state capital, Lokoja.
It said that the position of the association was based on the preliminary report from its Joint Campus Committee, Kogi State chapter.
The statement said that the association expressed displeasure on “perpetual refusal’’ to resolve the crisis that led to the continued closure of the university.
It said that the strike had kept the students at home for about three months, thereby, making most of them vulnerable to social vices and crimes.
“We also decried the refusal of Kogi State Government to continue the age long policy of bursary and scholarship payment to Kogi students even when we know the state has not been this buoyant in the last one year.
“It is our advocacy that the educational sector be accorded it rightful place in accordance to the UNESCO resolutions on educational development globally.
“Also of serious concern is the continue withholding of three state allocations plus bailout funds meant to ameliorate the long suffering workers whose children are already out of school,’’ it added.
The statement said that the association also condemned what it described as the crippling of the banking sector in the state as a result of the poor policy of the state government.
It said that the state government had directed all staff to use only designated banks (Access and Zenith Bank) in eventual payment of their arrears.
“This is leading to banks closing shops and leading to high retrenchment of staff, thereby worsening the state of already battered labour force and overriding their fundamental human right to basic freedom of choice,’’ it said.
It added that the association demanded the reversal of the state policy on restricted banking, which they said was “killing the one time viable sector with the negative consequences on our tiny economy’’.
It stated that the association called for immediate commencement of disbursement of students’ scholarship and bursary as well as prompt payment of staff salaries as at when due.
“The National Secretariat hereby issues a seven days ultimatum with immediate effect from Monday July 4, on the governor to respond to our prayers.
“The governor should do the needful before we pass a vote of no confidence on his administration.
“We have resolve to start mobilising Nigerian students down for a total short down of Kogi economy to occupy the street of Lokoja in solidarity with the poor masses and civil servant,’’ it stated.