[ICYMI] NANS president talks tough over prolonged ASUU strike

• Warns students against participating in #EndSARS protests

THE newly-elected President of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Comrade Sunday Asefon on Monday talked tough over the protracted strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), saying it was high time the about 9-month-old strike is suspended.
He vowed to immediately engage both the leadership of ASUU and representative the Federal Government with “the aim of prevailing on them to find a centre point for an amicable resolution to ensure we return to school.”
Asefon who addressed newsmen in Abuja, also warned Nigerian students against involvement in the rumoured second wave of  #EndSARS protests, saying as a unionist, he would prefer dialogue to street protest that would not yield any positive results.
He assured Nigerian students of his resolve to do all within his abilities to protect their interests; place the interest and welfare of Nigerian students above all considerations and reposition the association to take its rightful place in the centre of the nation’s polity.
“To this end, I will immediately set out to engage stakeholders within the educational sector to add our strong voice against the overstayed ASUU strike.
“I will be consulting with the representative of the Federal Government and ASUU with the aim of prevailing on them to find a centre point for an amicable resolution to ensure we return to school.
“I am convinced that this high-level consultation will yield a positive result and we will not have to resort to mobilizing students to mount any protest to this ridiculous long stay at home. NANS under our watch, will not be complacent o such unending strike and never again will Nigerian students have to stay home this long,” he said.
The NANS president frowned at cases of victimisation of students leaders and activists on campuses, saying arbitrary expulsion, suspension, and rustication of students for dissent and peaceful protest shall be met with stiff opposition from NANS under his administration.
“We will fight for recognition and retention of our strong voice as students without fear of intimidation or oppression,” he said.
On the #EndSARS protests, he said there was no doubt that students were directly or indirectly victims of police brutality but insisted that students should shun any such protest without an identifiable leader, saying such rudderless protest would only lead to anarchy and public disorder.
“Any protest that is faceless, the National Association of Nigerian Students under my watch will not be part to it,” Asefon said.
He extended hand of fellowship to all other candidates who contested with him in the election to join hands in repositioning the association.

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