AS the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) strike continues to linger, some students have urged the Federal Government and the lecturers to find a quick resolution of the issues at hand.
ASUP had directed all its members nationwide to down tools on Dec.12, 2018, based on several factors including non-implementation of NEEDS ASSESSMENT reports of 2014 as agreed with the federal government in October 2017.
The union also alleged lack of seriousness in the renegotiation of the union’s 2010 agreement; non-release of arrears of CONTISS 15 migration for the lower cadre; non-release of arrears of promotion and shortfall in personnel releases, as well as non-payment of allowances.
Other agitations are non-payment of salaries in many state-owned polytechnics, non-payment of union check-off dues, pension deductions and other statutory deductions from staff salaries to the appropriate bodies, and continued victimisation of union officers.
While some polytechnics complied with the strike directive, leaving their students out of school, others shunned it.
Negotiations between the Federal Government and the ASUP have so far ended in a deadlock, with no resolution of the issues.
Some of the students told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos that both parties need to resolve the issues in good time for their sake.
Adedeji Adedayo, a Chemical Science student of Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech), told NAN that “an idle mind is a devil’s workshop” and so it was not good to keep them at home for too long.
“The so-called ‘leaders of tomorrow’ are now idle, neither studying nor working; an idle mind is a devil’s workshop.
“That is why many of the youths engage in crimes like internet scam and kidnapping when they are being deprived of many privileges.
“Everybody knows Nigeria has money to pay these people, therefore we beg the government to act fast on their decision.
“ We also urge ASUP not to be reluctant to take the next step in meeting with the government and reaching a decision that would be favourable to all,’’ he said.
Triumph Onyebuchi, another student of Yaba College of Technology, in the Department of Quantity Surveying, said he was disappointed with the strike, as most of them that were meant to graduate might have to wait longer.
Onyebuchi, who is in the second year of his National Diploma programme, said they would have to wait for the strike to be over before beginning their final exams.
”The Federal Government should find a way to end this strike quickly so that students can get back to their studies and prevent idleness,” he said.
The student also advised the lecturers not to give up hope, believing that the strike would soon be over.
He said affected students were going through pain due to the lingering strike, but would continue to hope for the best.
Odekunle Daniel, a Public Administration student of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, said his institution was not affected by the strike but he felt for his co-students whose schools were affected.
He said that the lecturers in his institution were not on strike as the academic calendar was still running on schedule.
Odekunle, however, pleaded that the Federal Government and ASUP should quicken the resolution of the problems, as thousands of students’ future depend on their decision.
He also urged the students affected by the strike not to fold their arms but to make use of the period to equip themselves with some skills which would be of benefit to them.
Oyebanjo Damilola, a Public Administration student of Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, also said his institution was not affected by the strike but urged the government to ensure all needs of the striking lecturers are met.
Damilola said that the resolution should be quick so that the affected students would be able to get back to school as soon as possible.
A parent, Mr Don Onyebuchi, who is a cleric at Trinity Miracle Centre, Isolo, Lagos, said that the federal government and striking lecturers should be mindful of the plight of the students.
He said that he was displeased as a parent because the time wasted for the strike results to students lagging in their academic calendar.
According to him, youth, in times like this, often engage in indecent activities like gambling, amongst others, which is detrimental to them.
Onyebuchi advised the lecturers and students to be hopeful of a quick resolution of the issues regarding the strike and their subsequent return to school.