The strike embarked upon by the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), across the country took a dramatic turn yesterday, as the Adeyemi College of Education (ACE), Ondo chapter of the body trooped out to protest the continued stay of the supervising minister of Education, Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike.
The lecturers staged the protest to condemn what they termed the “maladministration” of the supervising Education Minister Mr. Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike.
The union was of the opinion that it would have been logical if Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike is given the office of the Special Adviser to the President Goodluck Jonathan on Governor Rotimi Amaechi affairs, rather than occupying an office that decides the future of all Nigerian students at this critical period.
The leaders of COEASU maintained that Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike is not qualified to be a minister in Nigeria.
The former National President of COEASU, Comrade Remi Makinde said Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike is a lawyer, who is interested in helping the Presidency to fight the governor of Rivers State, Mr Rotimi Amaechi in the face of the daunting challenges in the education sector that need to be tackled headlong.
The lecturers expressed their grievances over the ongoing strike which has entered four months.
The lecturers staged the protest at the institution’s gate and it was led by its Chapter Chairman, Dr Samuel Akintunde
They carried placards with different inscriptions such as “IPPIS is repugnant, Jonathan should respond to the cries of the masses” FG should save education from drowning, among others“
What could have resulted in a face-off between the protesters and men of the Nigeria Police was amicably settled and the protest continued.
Men of the Nigeria Police led by CSP Emmanuel Okoi, had initially wanted to disrupt the protest as they prevented the union members from blocking the free flow of traffic along the Akure- Ondo-Ore road.
The Police later settled with the workers as the lecturers resolved to stage the protest at the college’s gate.
Akintunde said the battle of the lecturers was to liberate colleges of education and to improve the academic standard of the students.
He said the federal government has abandoned teachers’ education completely, adding that none of the 10 issues raised by the union has been addressed.
The COEASU chairman who noted that the federal government has been recalcitrant, stressed that the government has only met two times with the lecturers and on these occasions it was different groups who represented the government on the dialogue table.