The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has condemned the extravagance exhibited by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s wife, Patience, during a recent rally for women in Abuja.
NANS has thereby asked the Nigerian government to reveal the amount spent on such frivolity taking into consideration the crisis in the education sector, which has culminated in an industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which has entered it’s seventh week.
In a statement issued by the students’ body on Tuesday, it urged the government to declare a state of emergency in the education sector, adding that all well-meaning Nigerians should frown on such ‘wasteful spending’ as the ASUU strike has forced the students to be at home for over six weeks following the government’s inability to honour its agreement with the university teachers.
The statement signed by NANS National Financial Secretary, Ayenuro Timilehin, states, “It is saddening that the office of the first lady would organise such a kangaroo rally and force motorists plying routes leading to Eagle Square in Abuja venue of the event to be subjected to untold hardship because of many barricaded alternatives.
“Frustrated motorists were forced to take any available space, thereby leading to a chaotic traffic snarl for the most part of that day.”
Timilehin decried the rally tagged: ‘Nigerian Women Rally for Peace and Empowerment’, saying it was not beneficial to Nigerians, especially with the stance of the government that lack of funds was responsible for its inability to meet the demands of ASUU.
He said the money spent on the rally should have been channelled towards the education sector, adding that the student body would not rest until the government does the right thing especially in the education sector.
Motorists as well as commuters were subjected to untold hardship in Abuja, as the rally organised by the Office of First Lady in collaboration with the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) on August 15 paralysed Abuja.
Despite the fact that the rally that was attended by women from the 36 states of the federation was unannounced, security operatives barricaded all the routes leading to the Eagle Square, venue of the rally, thereby forcing residents of the city to have a hard time getting to their various destinations.