The Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, Professor Godwin Onu, yesterday pleaded with the striking members of the institution’s Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, to call off their strike that has lasted for 11 months.

Following the prolonged strike, there are two sets of first year students in the institution, with those who have gained admission unsure of when they will resume studies.

Speaking at Oko when the Registrar of the institution, Mr. Tony Nwokolobia, was honoured with the leadership excellence award as the most outstanding Delta State indigene in the academia, Onu, who spoke through the deputy rector of the Polytechnic, Dr. Don Muo, regretted that students who ought to have graduated had remained at home, while those who have completed all the processes for admission, were yet to begin lectures.

The award was conferred on him by leaders of Nigerian Youths Students Mandate, NYSM.

According to him, the strike has deprived the students the opportunity to receive lectures for a full academic session. He noted that both the striking workers and students had missed a lot.

Coordinator of NYSM, Comrade Davidson Ebere, said Nwokolobia, who hails from Illa in Oshimili South local government area of Delta State, was selected for the award because of his dedication to the growth of academics and concern for the progress of youths as future leaders of the country.

According to him, Nwokolobia has been a source of inspiration for Nigerian students. He added that they would continue to approach him for necessary advice as they mature in their various endeavours.

In his speech, Nwokolobia said with what Nigerian students were doing in their various institutions, the future of the country was bright, adding that it was encouraging to see Nigerian students joining hands to embark on projects that would benefit their colleagues.

He urged the country’s leaders to be mindful of the way they treat the youths because they were the hope for future development.

He said: “Our duty is to continue to grow and groom students to be better citizens and our promise is that we will not go below the expectation of Nigerians”.

The Academic Staff Union Of Polytechnics, ASUP embarked on an indefinite strike since October 2013.

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