NUC had in a letter, obtained on Monday, directed the pro-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities to resume.
The federal government has been lambasted for ordering vice-chancellors to reopen universities amid the lingering strike action by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
A student group, the Fund Education Coalition kicked against the order by the Federal Government, through the National Universities Commission.
In a statement, Monday, signed by its Coordinator, and Assistant Public Relations Officer, Damilare Adenola and Babatimehin Asiwaju, respectively, the students noted that ASUU was on a legitimate cause to save public education, adding that the FG should, instead, meet the demands of the striking lecturers.
The PUNCH reported that the NUC had in a letter, obtained on Monday, directed the pro-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities to “ensure that ASUU members immediately resume/commence lectures; restore the daily activities and routines of the various university campuses.”
Reacting, the students said, “Without mincing words, the Fund Education Coalition states that we stand strongly opposed to the recent directive given by the Federal Government to pro-chancellors and vice-chancellors of federal universities through the NUC to reopen the federal universities across Nigeria.
“We maintain that ASUU have continued to operate within the limits of their rights by declaring and sustaining an industrial strike action in resistance to the FG’s poor management of public institutions, miserly remunerations that government has continued to pay lecturers in those institutions among other things.
“We find it disconcerting that the government has persisted in its use of repression in dealing with the union—from threats of an outright ban and license withdrawal to the deplorable act of dragging the union to the industrial court to secure an unfair judgement and to the most recent show of utter despotism with its resumption directive.”
“We say that we understand the governments’ deception and we condemn it. We consider it an absurdity that the government will order the reopening of federal universities given the beyond-deplorable state that they exists in laboratories with substandard apparatus (or no apparatus at all in some cases) for conducive learning; dilapidated hostel facilities that still only cater for a minimal fraction of the students in these institutions, absence of sufficient academic infrastructure to cater to the needs of the growing university communities, thus resulting in cramped up lecture theatres, among many others.
“In reflection on the above issues, the Fund Education Coalition finds the demands of ASUU, not only worthwhile, but also pressing. And we compel the government to come to the realisation of the decadence in the educational system, and subsequently, begin and sustain revitalisation of that sector through adequate and fine funding among others; all of which are captured in ASUU’s demands.
“We urge students and parents alike to see through the gimmicks of the FG and unite in solidarity with ASUU against the governments’ continued crippling of our educational sector. It has become increasingly inevitable that Nigerians take to the streets to protest this attack on the entire citizenry of the Nigerian state,” the statement added.