Following the protracted strike embarked upon by the lecturers of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, over non-response to their demands by the state government, the students of the institution, on Tuesday, staged a peaceful protest after which an ultimatum of 24 hours was given to both parties to end the impasse or face total shut down of government activities.
The lecturers, under the aegis of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), had since December last year began the strike because of what was described as gross under funding of the polytechnic, non- payment of 40 per cent balance of hazard allowances and failure of the government to constitute a substantive governing council for the institution.
Tuesday’s protest, which lasted over three hours, started from the Sango Campus of the institution at about 7am during which the students in their hundreds marched from the campus, through Sango-UI road and terminated it at Mokola roundabout area of the city where they grounded traffic activities.
The protest disrupted traffic flow from Secretariat road, Sabo road, Dugbe road as well as UI-Sango road as the students were singing and dancing in the middle of the busy road, also displaying placards with various inscriptions like “Call off the Strike! Save our future”, “We are tired of staying at home”, “Light no dey, Water no dey”, “We are not anti-Ajimobi”, “We are tired of staying at home” and “Ki Polybadan le da, Ajumose gbogbo wa ni” (the betterment of Poly Ibadan is our collective responsibility).
To, however, forestall the hijack of the process by hoodlums to cause untold hardship for the residents of the state capital, fully armed men of the Nigeria Police in vans numbering about 10 escorted the students from Sango to Mokola area where the protest was terminated.
Led by the Students Union Government (SUG) President, Iyiola Oladimeji, who addressed the students and passers-bye at the Mokola terminus of the protest, he said it had come to a point when the students had to speak up in the face of seeming neglect of the students’ plight by the government and ASUP.
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