The students of Yaba College of Technology took to the streets of Lagos on Friday to protest the eight-month strike embarked upon by members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics.
While disrupting traffic at Yaba, Fadeyi, Jibowu, and Onipanu areas of Lagos, the students said they were out to express their grievances over the neglect of their plight by the Federal Government.
Many of them also bore placards with inscriptions such as “FG, please call off ASUP strike,” “HND=BSc,” “Nyesom Wike, Stop Discriminating and Intervene,” “We want to return to our classes,” etc.
While speaking with Saturday PUNCH, the President of the Students’ Union Government of the institution, Ganiyu Salvador said, “We are not protesting as YABATECH students, but as concerned students, and what we want to achieve is to have our voices heard.
“This strike has taken too long and nobody is saying anything about it. Unlike when ASUU was on strike, we don’t get much attention from anybody. We have spent so much time at home. Is it because we are not university students?
“They are toiling with our future. Since nobody is speaking for us, we have decided to speak for ourselves. We want to know why the Federal Government and even the National Association of Nigerian Students have neglected us.
“We should not be spending more time than we are supposed to spend in school. We want our voices to be heard and something done urgently concerning our plight.”
While emphasising his claim of neglect by the Federal Government, Salvador said the Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, had at the Tertiary Institutions Trust Fund event held at Ibadan, on Thursday, allegedly told them it was not a forum to discuss their plight when a question was posed to him regarding the strike and that they (polytechnic students) should stop intimidating him.
The students chanted various protest songs and chorused, “We are tired of going to the clubs, watching movies, and sleeping at home.”