30th October, 2013
The Nigerian police on Wednesday disrupted a peaceful rally by members of Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), University of Abuja Chapter, in Gwagwalada, FCT.
Dr Clement Chuks, ASUU Chairman, Uniabuja chapter, said the rally was organised to sensitise the public to the level of decay of infrastructure in Nigerian universities.
The heavily armed policemen, fired teargas on the demonstrating lecturers, barricaded all entrances leading to the university and prevented other members from joining the rally.
One of the lecturers was rushed to the University Teaching Hospital for treatment after he inhaled the teargas.
Some of the lecturers carried placards with inscriptions; “ ASUU is fighting for the good future of Nigerian children and the nation,’’ “Support ASUU to save university education in Nigeria’’.
“Implement 2009 agreement, we do not want to teach under trees again,’’ “2009 agreement is the key for producing quality graduates’’ among others.
According to Chuks, the rally is also to draw the attention of the public to the Federal Government’s inability to address critical issues surrounding the education sector.
Chuks stressed the need for the Federal Government to inform Nigerians on the true position of things regarding the strike.
“The essence of the protest is to sensitise the public on government’s inability to honour the 2009 agreement, we will continue the struggle until the government says yes to us, stopping our salaries will not solve the problem.
“Our demand is that our universities should be made to compete with others in the world,’’ he said.
Chuks decried the action of the police in the protest.
Commenting on the rally, the Divisional Police Officer, Gwagwalada, Mr Tony Okon, said the presence of policemen at the campus, was to protect innocent citizen against hoodlums.
“Shooting of teargas was to prevent hoodlums from joining the protest so that they do not take advantage of the situation and cause any damage’’ Okon said. (NAN)