Students of Osun State-owned tertiary institutions on Thursday stage a protest over the three-month old strike by the Academic Staff Union Of Polytechnic,Asup and non-academic workers in the schools.
Liveschoolnews.com.ng grapevine gathered more than 10,000 students of the institutions, namely Osun State College of Education, Ila; State Polytechnic, Iree; State College of Education, Ilesa; and Osun College of Technology, Esa-Oke stormed major streets in Osogbo, the state capital to protest a three-months old industrial action by members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP in their institution.
The students, who came in buses, assembled in Osogbo at 9am.
They marched from Olaiya Junction to the House of Assembly and later the State Secretariat on Gbongan road.
Commercial activities in some parts of the state capital were affected by the protest.
The students made bonfires on the road, causing a traffic gridlock for many hours.
After failed efforts to get them off the road, policemen fired tear gas canisters to disperse them and arrested some of their leaders.
Police Commissioner Ibrahim Maishanu said they had to use tear gas when other efforts to disperse the protesters failed.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was behind the protest.
In a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, APC said: “We are aware that the PDP planned to deploy the tactics it used against Chief Bisi Akande. They have tried to get civil servants to paralyse the civil service and failed. Now they are taking advantage of the students who do not understand what is at stake to create mayhem. They will fail woefully.
“The PDP should be held accountable for what is happening now, because it had been mobilising students’ union leaders to take to the streets. They will not get too far. The teachers asked students to return to school on Monday, but they stayed on the street to do the PDP’s bidding. In civilised climes, those responsible for taking advantage of our students and putting them in harm’s way should be prosecuted by the law.”
The Media Head of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate Senator Iyiola Omisore’s campaign organisation, Prince Diran Odeyemi, said the PDP had no hand in the protest.
Odeyemi said: “I wonder why they keep alleging that the PDP is behind this and that when we are busy preparing for the task ahead of us. They should be concerned about issues, not allegations. Is the PDP behind the pensioners’ protest too? Will they say we are behind the myriads of problems they are facing as a result of the suffering they are putting the people through?”
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