Var­sity stu­dents’ protest lock down Lokoja

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Itodo Daniel Sule, 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.

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