Bauchi (IP)- The clash erupted between Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic Bauchi students in Northern Nigeria and Security Forces on Tuesday, which resulted in both sides' injuries and many students' arrests by the Police.

Iran PressAfrica: The Nigerian Labour Congress has announced to all workers to participate in a nationwide protest next week to denounce the government's failure to tackle the problems causing the universities to strike.

Iran Press correspondent arrived at the gate of the tertiary institution, which is located along Jos Road. Still, the police prevented him from covering when they were beating some captured students and denied him access to get inside the school where the students were said, according to eyewitnesses, to have destroyed some offices, administrative blocks, and damaged cars owned mainly by lecturers and staff.

The police threatened to seize his camera. The students were seen throwing stones at the police while the police on their side fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the protestors. The angry students embarked on a protest which resulted in the blockage of ever busy Bauchi-Jos Highway.

The protest by the students is the sequel to the 14-day notice of total strike issued by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the five tertiary institutions owned by the Bauchi State Government, which commenced on Tuesday due to the lack of increment in salary to the lecturers after promotion, underpayment of wages to some lecturers, implementation of annual step by the government.

One of the students who said his name is Broder from the Department of Accountancy, said, "About the police brutality if they don't stop, we too will not stop (the protest). If this strike has not come to an end, we, too, will not stop. If I die today because of this protest, I know in my burial ground everybody will testify the right thing."

Another female student named Sandra from the Department of Mass Communication said." Honestly speaking, a strike is happening in Bauchi right now, and the students are not happy about it because examinations started yesterday. Some of us were planning to finish the exams and go back to our parents. As it is now, the strike is holding, and we do not know when it will be ended. We want the government to put an end to this strike. Our parents are suffering. Most of us are from a very poor background. We are begging the government to intervene in the strike. We are tired."

The lady speaking angrily lamented that it takes some students three to four years to finish a Diploma course which is supposed to be concluded in two years due to strikes in Nigerian schools. 

Felisha, a student in Business Education Department, said, "Today we came from the house so that we write exams, after that, we discovered that the strike is going on, that's why we are not happy with our government. When security were invited, it's not good to beat students like that. They arrested so many students. They fired teargas at the students even though some have asthma. Even I fainted (due to teargas. The security beat me because I was fighting for my right. This teargas that I am holding now (fired by the police) has affected many people. The election is coming; if you want us to vote for you, release our students."

Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic Bauchi's authorities have announced the institution's closure and commanded every student to leave the institution so that law and order can be restored. 

The strike has crippled education in Nigeria. Students of Government Universities have been at home for five months due to strikes by the Academic Staff Union of Universities who claim to be fighting for their rights. Government officials are being accused by people of not taking serious actions to resolve the problems because their children study abroad.



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