Striking Colleges of Education lecturers are planning to embark on hunger strike to further press on the Federal Government to attend to their demands.
They are also planning to mobilise other stakeholders to join them in protest marches in Abuja and other parts of the country.
No date, however, has been fixed for the two actions.
The lecturers under the auspices of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union have been on strike since December 18. They are protesting against, among others dearth of infrastructure in the nation’s colleges of education, poor funding, non-implementation of the 2010 FG-COEASU agreement, poor conditions of service, brain drain and illegal imposition of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System.
But in a statement by the COEASU National President, Mr. Emmanuel Asagha, and the General Secretary, Mr. Nuhu Ogirima, on Monday, the union said, “The government’s insensitivity and discrimination are condemnable and it is an outright negation of the much-orchestrated transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.”
The union alleged that the government’s uncaring attitude might be in connection with its perception that only the children of the less-privileged attended colleges of education.
The association said it would no longer hold secret meetings with government representatives “because several of such meetings have only revealed unexpected compromised integrity of highly placed persons.”
COEASU added, “The National Assembly and the Presidency have not shown the least concern. Leaders are discussing 2015 general elections and neglecting core values of the system.
“This worrisome attitude portends grave danger not just to the Nigerian youth who is being denied skills of survival, but to the entire nation. This attitude is informed by the fact that students in colleges of education are sons and daughters of the peasants, the artisans, the downtrodden, and the less privileged.
“Hence, the inhuman discrimination against them is akin only to South Africa of yore. The government’s attention to the universities where the children of the rich and powerful are schooling is evidently different.”
The union also called on the government to release N30bn to address some of the pressing issues facing the sub-sector within 21 days.
It said, “We are determined to resist all attempts by the so called non-stakeholders of the sector to frustrate the only hope of the less-privileged.”