Varsity students’ protest lock down Lokoja
Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, was yesterday locked down for several hours as students of the Kogi State University (KSU) blocked roads to protest the strike that lecturers of the university have been on in the past three months
The students poured out in their hundreds as early as 8am, blocked the popular Ganaja Junction and occupied the road, bringing all vehicular movements through the state capital to a standstill.
President of the Students Union Government (SUG) of the institution, Comrade Shaibu Philip Omepa said students resorted to the action because they were tired of idling away at home due to the strike occasioned by an industrial dispute between the lecturers and the Kogi State Government over non-payment of salaries.
“We have been at home for three months. This is the only way we can air out our grievances because we have tried dialogue and consultations which never worked,” he said, adding that the protesting students would continue to occupy the road until ASUU and government enter into dialogue to end the strike.
Reacting to the development, Special Adviser to Governor Yahaya Bello on Media and Strategy, Mr Abdulkarim Abdulmalik, said the students should rather blame ASUU as the government had already settled 80 percent of the salary arrears owed the lecturers with the 40 percent bailout fund accessed so far.
He said other civil servants in the state had not received as much as the lecturers had received.
The Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Mr Yakubu Usman, said efforts to pacify the protesting students to shift grounds and clear the road had not yielded the expected result. “We are still talking to them. We don’t want to use force and we are hopeful they will leave,” he said.