Students of Ekiti State origin in tertiary institutions embarked on marathon prayers to seek divine intervention in the five- month old strike by the members of the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities, ASUU.
The students, who were drawn from the various institutions of higher learning, converged at Lady Jibowu Hall, Ekiti Government House where they held the prayer session the session had in attendance, the state’s Deputy Governor, Professor Modupe Adelabu and some clerics. Adelabu in her remarks cautioned the students against taking to the streets and engaging in illegal acts that could lead to violence and disruption of peace in the state.
She noted that they did the right thing by taking their petition to God. She said it was unfortunate that both parties to the dispute – ASUU and the Federal Government had remained adamant despite interventions from well-meaning Nigerians.
The number two citizen of the state urged the students not to relent in their regular prayer for divine intervention, saying that the death of Prof Festus Iyayi, a frontline ASUU member in an auto-crash along the Abuja-Lokoja Road introduced another twist to the lingering dispute.
Mrs Adelabu, who expressed the hope that the prayers of the students would yield the desired result in a matter of days, counseled the undergraduates against engaging in activities that could jeopardize their future.
Mrs Adelabu regretted that the situation which keeps them at home in the past few months was not their own making and that their teachers did not deliberately embark on the strike to put the students’ future at stake.
According to her, the lecturers were only pressing for their rights and other logistics that will improve the facilities in the nation’s citadel of leaning and to make them world standard.
Advising the students to engage themselves in profitable ventures, she also urged them not to completely abandon their studies but constantly review their lecture notes in preparation for the re-opening of the varsities.
Pastor John Aladete in his sermon at the prayer session urged the students not to be daunted by their present predicament as a result of the protracted ASUU strike.
The cleric charged them to be hopeful with an assurance that God will be with them irrespective of the present development. He said God has designed their generation to bring the desired change needed by the country.
The students were later led into series of prayer sessions by some clerics including the Government House Chaplain, Rev. Fr. Anthony Famuagun, Pastor Tunde Akinola of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Youths, Pastor Mike Awopetu and Special Assistant to the Governor on Student Affairs, Mr Adeoye Aribasoye.