The Nigeria police, yesterday humiliated protesting lecturers and students of the nations polytechnics and colleges of education with teargas and watergun.
The protest which held at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja, was disrupted when police officers fired tear-gas at the protesters who vowed not to leave the venue.
The protest was organised to show displeasure at the federal government’s handling of the strike by polytechnic lecturers ASUP, and college lecturers, COEASU.Both unions have been on strike since last year with hundreds of thousands of students unable to attend lectures.Members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has expressed dismay over government’s “nonchalance” to their demands to fix polytechnics and colleges of education in the country.
The polytechnic lecturers have been on strike since October 4, 2013 while the college of education lecturers embarked on strike on December 18, 2013.
ASUP President Chibuzor Asomugha aaccused the supervising Minister of Education Nyesom Wike of embarking on a propaganda mission to discredit their members instead of addressing the issues.
Both unions are protesting the failure of government to kick-start the re-negotiation of an agreement it signed with them in 2009 which fell due in July 2012.
ASUP is demanding the implementation of CONTISS 15 migration for the lower cadres in the polytechnics and the release the White Paper on the visitations to federal polytechnics more than one year after the exercise.
It is also demanding an end to the HND/BSc dichotomy.
On its part, COEASU is protesting the “non-accreditation of its programmes…corruption of the security architecture of the colleges through outsourcing to settle political allies at the detriment of staff and government’s huge investment” and the “non-payment of pension/death benefits to families of deceased members.”
Asomugha raised doubts over federal government’s sincerity in addressing the HND/BSc dichotomy saying that government did not invite the union into a committee it recently set up, headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim.
Some of the demands included ASUP and COEASU demandsEstablishment of National Polytechnic commission.
Release of the white paper on the visitation panel to federal polytechnics
Review of obsolete polytechnic act.
Release of funding for the implementation of CONTISS 15 migration.
Elimination of disparity between HND and Bsc graduates.
Release and implementation of NEEDS assessment.
Non inclusion of federal polytechnics in the IPPIS.
The unjust deprivation in career progression by the non approval of migration of lower cadre in the colleges of education.
Insecurity in the colleges engendered by the outsourcing of security services
The proliferation of sub standard colleges of education, in spite of the persistent outcry by the union.
The imposition of salary payment platforms that sort to undermine the smooth administration, management and discipline in the colleges of education. (Leadership)