Nigeria students in Higher Institution across the country have made good their threat by embarking on a protest on Wednesday in the nation’s capital Abuja, over the continued closure of schools as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The protesting students, who gathered at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, demanded the immediate reopening of schools, as they berated the Government for refusing to open schools despite easing off the lockdown in other aspect of the economy like airports, markets, and religious places for worship.
The Students, who were led by various students’ leaders of public universities in the country, express their grievances at the Government for feeling reluctant to reopen citadel of learning in the country.
The President of the National Association of University Students (NAUS), comrade Ejigah Felix, insisted that there was no justification by the Government to reopen worship centers, markets, motor parks and Airports across the country, and still not reopening schools.
Comrade Felix stated that markets are the worst place of danger in terms of human health, arguing if they are open, then there is no reason for the continuous shut down of schools.
He noted that the Government cannot justify to be fighting coronavirus, while institutions of higher learning that have true and genuine research for the virus cure are neglected.
In his statement, he said the continued closure of universities and other educational institutions was an indication that the Government does not value education in the country.
He fingered out the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, for not showing enough commitment to ensure the reopening of schools, unlike his counterparts, the Minister of Transport, who had worked hard to ensure that the Transportation sector is in full operation.
He said: “Our schools have been shut down for too long, markets are now open, campaigns are going on. What it clearly shows is that the educational sector is a sector that is not recognized in this country. What it shows is that it is the educational sector that is neglected in this country.
“Anybody who says he’s fighting coronavirus in this country and is not taking the educational sector serious is a liar because it is a sector where the virus can be fought through research and researches are only done in academic fields.
“How do you close our Universities, our Polytechnics, and all relevant academic institutions and you are telling people that you want to stop the virus?
“Our demands are that our schools should be reopened.
ASUU strike has been lingering in this country for so long. Every time that the government has an issue with ASUU, it is the students that are at the receiving end, everybody who is in school for a four-year programme ends up spending six or more years.
“We want the government to find a way of addressing this and stop putting our generation at risk. Students are about wasting one year at home and this is not good for Nigerian students.
“Some students’ leaders are trying to sabotage this protest after collecting money from some quarters, this is unfortunate.
“I am not here to represent myself neither am I here to represent my friend, I am here to represent the Nigerian students. And with overwhelming support, we are here today from different parts of the country.
“The simple message here is that Nigerian students want our schools opened.
“The Federal Ministry of Education is not doing as well. If the Ministry of Transportation can liaise and find a way for us to move despite the problem, if people in markets can find a way despite the problem, then the education sector should find a way for our schools to be reopened.
“They are saying that if we get back to our schools, we are going to contract the virus, but the same modalities we have put in our religious houses-our churches, our mosques, and in markets, we will put those modalities in schools.
It would be recalled that EDUCARE NEWS had reported that at a virtual meeting on Sunday, the Nigeria students reached a resolution to embark on a protest match that will force the Federal Government to reopen higher institutions across the country.