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Nigerian Workers Protest Continuing Speakers’ Union Strike

Abuja, Nigeria – A nationwide labor protest in Nigeria spread to the capital, Abuja, on Wednesday as protesters sought to pressure authorities to resolve a payment dispute with university professors.

The lecturers walked out on Feb. 14 because of the dispute and a broken government promise to invest $500 million in public universities. The strike affected millions of Nigerian students.

Thousands of protesters comprising of Nigerian workers from various sectors marched towards the National Assembly on the second day of a solidarity demonstration for the Academic Staff Union of Universities or ASUU.

The joint protest aims to pressure authorities to address lingering funding problems at public universities that sparked a strike by professors five months ago.

But protesters said there were other issues, such as insecurity and the state of the Nigerian economy, which also needed urgent attention.

Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) President Ayuba Wabba said the problems stem from years of authorities neglecting the education system.

“The working class children, the children of the underprivileged have been home for five months and no one cares, while their children are graduating from overseas universities daily and they have the audacity to post them on social media for us to see,” Wabba said. “Once you denied citizens education, you denied them everything.

More than 8 million students at public universities in Nigeria are affected by the strike, including protester Adamu Umar, who is an undergraduate student at Ahmadu Bello University.