STUDENTS across the country, under the umbrella of Alliance of Nigerian Students against Neo-Liberal Attacks (ANSA), have set aside January 9 to protest the continued industrial impasse, which has kept Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) closed for seven months.
A statement issued by the group and signed by its Acting General Secretary, Juwon Sanyaolu, said the “mother of all protests” against the governments of Oyo and Osun states (proprietors of the school) would be held simultaneously in both Ibadan and Oshogbo, the capitals.
According to Sanyaolu, there were indications that both governments were considering increasing students’ fees as a way of resolving the prolonged workers’ strike, and vowed that the group would mobilise all students’ groups and activists in the country to resist the implementation of any such plans.
The statement read in part: “The January 9 mass action is for the outright rejection of imminent fee hike in LAUTECH, adequate funding of the university, immediate reopening of the campus and unconditional reinstatement of the student union on the campus.
“The declaration of the date as a day of mass action against the aforementioned was a product of the congress of LAUTECH students, which premised its conclusion of an imperative mass action on the need to mobilise Nigerian students, youths and activists against further attacks that would soon befall our entire tertiary institutions across the country.
“The fact is that fee hikes in times past has never solved the challenges of underfunding in LAUTECH or any other tertiary institution, rather it has always deprived students from poor background access to affordable education. We, therefore, maintain that fee hikes should under no circumstance be substituted for adequate funding of education.”