Market women in Taraba state on Tuesday joined the solidarity protest organized by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), for the striking lecturers of the Academic Staff Union of University (ASSU).
Mrs. Agnes Panya a.k.a, mama kifi and Mrs. Ashetu Kaura who spoke to our correspondent during the protest in Jalingo said, they have decided to join the protest to protect the academic future of their children.
According to them, ensuring that their children acquire higher education was the only hope for survival when old age finally exits them from the market since most of them have long ago lost their husbands.
“We believe that our children would have reasonable jobs to take care of us and build our families if they acquire higher education when old age finally exits us from the market.
“Some of us have many years ago lost our husbands but the hope that is keeping us is our children who are in the university.
“We believe that they will grow and serve as children and husbands if they acquire higher education but if the universities are not open for them to go back to school then, our hope would be lost.
“70 per cent of bandits and criminals in Nigeria are non-educated youths. We are afraid that these children may result to join criminal groups due to idleness if the institutions remain closed,” the market women expressed.
Earlier, Comr. Peter Jediel the state NLC chairman told representatives of the Taraba State governor at the government house that the NLC in solidarity with other Unions in the state were acting based on national directives of the NLC.
Jediel, however, blamed the senior civil servants in Nigeria like the permanent Secretaries who were not telling politicians the truth due to their personal pocket which according to him has dragged the academic status in Nigeria to the present situation.
He appealed to the state government to speed up moves to ensure that the Federal government end the ASUU strike within one week.
Meanwhile, Taraba State Commissioner for special duty and humanitarian affairs, Hon. Taninga Binga while responding on behalf of Governor Darius Ishaku promised that the state government would collaborate with other states in the country since it was a nationwide matter to ensure that the striking lectures resume academic activities.