THE Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics and other stakeholders on Tuesday shut down activities on the ever-busy Ikorodu Road, Lagos to protest against the poor state of public education in the country.
Others that joined the protest were the National Association of Nigerian Students, Concerned Students Against Education Commercialisation and Education Rights Campaign. The protest was organised under the aegis of the Joint Action Front.
The protesters said they were waging a war against what they described as commercialisation of education in the country, adding that the Lagos rally was a prelude to a nationwide campaign targeted at shutting down the nation.
Secretary JAF, Abiodun Aremu, said, “The goal of this protest is to shut down the nation until those in government begin to take education seriously.
“Governments in Nigeria today operate anti-poor policies and they are not bothered about public education.
“Funding of public education is not given the priority it deserves, because the children of those in government and their friends are being trained in private schools in Nigeria and foreign countries with looted funds.”
According to JAF, the march was holding simultaneously in other Nigerian cities, such as Kano, Owerri, Calabar, and Abuja.
In Lagos, the placard-bearing protesters marched from Yaba through Ikorodu Road to Ojota chanting solidarity songs.
The protesters succeeded in forcing vehicular traffic on both sides of the expressway to a standstill.
Co-ordinator of Democratic Socialist Movement at the University of Ibadan, Michael Ogundele, said there were no better ways than mass protests to put political pressure on the government.
Ogundele, said, “There is nothing to show that government would fund public education, even if ASUU suspends its strike.
“That is why we are saying that the whole rank and file of Nigerian students should come out. We will all protest to put political pressure on these Nigerian looters to make them properly fund education.”