STUDENTS body the National Association of Nigerian Students (Nans) has warned the country’s two main political parties that it will now allow then to gold their forthcoming presidential primaries unless they sort out the ongoing strike in universities.
Nigeria’s Academic Staff Union of Universities (Asuu) is currently on strike, with its members protesting remuneration, pay and conditions. While the universities are shut and students are at home, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are about to hold presidential primaries.
Next year, Nigeria goes to the polls to elect a new president and a host of heavyweight gladiators in both parties are lining up to stand in the primaries. Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission has given the parties up until the end of June to decide on their presidential candidates.
Incensed by what it sees as insensitivity, Nans has said it would not allow political parties to hold their presidential primaries in Abuja. Nans president Sunday Asefon, noted that it would be absurd for the nation’s youths to continue to be idle at home, while political leaders pretend as if nothing is wrong and are engrossed in who fly their banners in the coming general elections.
Mr Asefon said: “We are still on our demands that the government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities and other staff unions resolve their differences and reopen our universities that have been shut down for about three months. We are also saying that we won’t allow any political party to hold their presidential primary in Abuja unless Nigerian students are back to their various campuses.
“They cannot continue to idle away and waste precious time because some people have refused to do the needful.” Nans originally asked that this matter be addressed following the lingering face-off between the government and university workers that has led to the closure of the universities since February 14 this year.