More than a month into the recent declaration by the Kogi State University Chapter of Academic Staff union of Universities (ASUU) of a No-Pay-No-Work stand, leadership of students of the institution has come out to appeal to all stakeholders to find a common ground to address issues concerning the situation.
According to leaderships of both Student Union Government (SUG) and the National Association of Kogi State Students (NAKOSS) in the institution, who spoke at a Press Conference held in Lokoja, the students are at the receiving end of the standoff, and appealed to government to get back to the negotiating table with ASUU.
Comrade Shaibu Philip Omepa, President of SUG in the university, told our correspondent that the students have waited so far for the industrial action to be addressed for them to continue their exams to no avail; hence, they were fed up.
According to him, it is in the best interest of both government and ASUU in their institution to bring the situation to an end as all parties concerned are suffering several consequences arising from it.
He said while the students have been pushed to the wall over the matter, their leadership believes in consultation and dialogue as best means of addressing issues, rather than confrontation and called on those concerned to sheath their swords and shift grounds to allow for amicable resolution of the issue.
On his part, Comrade Abdulmalik Hadi, President of National Association of Kogi State Students, said the situation has resulted in several negative outcomes such as delay in mobilization of graduates from the school for the mandatory Youth Service and Law School, brain drain and loss of academics from the institution to others, delay in academic calendar for the university among others.
The students leader, who further said that the strike has resulted in the loss of several lives of some of the most brilliant students in the school, said the students have had enough and are pleading for government and ASUU to come to their aid.
They said all efforts they have made so far to see the governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to ensure that they bring the situation to his attention has not seen the light of day, as his aides have frustrated their efforts in that regard.
Meanwhile, in a strongly worded letter to the Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, the Chief Judge of the state the Director, State Security Service and the State Commissioner of Police seen by our reporter, the students have called on them to wade into the matter before it got out of hand.
The letter reads in part: it will be recalled that the strike started since 14th April, 2016 and it was expected that there will be fast response which is yet to be seen after several mediatory roles played by the universitys management and coalition of student bodies.
In another part, In a meeting with the Chief of Staff to the governor and the Special Adviser on Education on 24th and 25th of April respectively, we were assured that in two weeks time, the situation will be addressed, but till now, it has not been addressed.
They therefore appealed to them to wade in and end the lingering crisis in their institution.