The state government announced the closure on Sunday.
Students and lecturers of tertiary institutions in Plateau State on Monday in Jos decried the indefinite closure of their institutions by the state government.
The state government in a statement on Sunday announced the indefinite closure of the institutions for security reasons.
The Secretary to the State Government, Shedrack Best, who signed the statement, said “some people” were trying to use students of the institutions to embark on protests that would undermine security in the state.
Mr. Best advised parents and guardians to keep their wards at home, saying that security personnel were on alert to deal with trouble makers and safeguard lives and property.
At the Jos campus of the Plateau Polytechnic, fierce-looking security personnel were stationed at the entrance while nobody was allowed into the campus.
Pam Dung, the President of the Students Union Government of the polytechnic, said that the indefinite closure of the institutions was “unfair and unfortunate.
“Lecturers have been on strike for nine months and the students have lost one academic session. The lecturers resumed barely three weeks ago; now there is another round of strike.
“It is just a case of when two elephants fight, the grass suffers. The deadlock between our lecturers and the government has turned the students to the grass,” he said.
Mr. Dung appealed to the two sides to reach a compromise in the interest of the students and their parents who had been suffering since the strike began.
The student leader said that he had advised the students of the polytechnic to stay away from the campus in accordance with the directive to avoid “being brutalised.”
“We don’t want to lose any of our members to these soldiers and policemen, so we advised our students to stay at home so that they are not killed.
“Whenever we embark on a peaceful protest, we are always brutalised by soldiers and policemen. But we are going to come out with our position within the week,” he said.
Some lecturers, who also commented on the closure of the tertiary institutions, described it as a demonstration of government’s insensitivity to the plight of its citizens.
Victor Dawurung, the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics in Plateau, said that the action of the government was not proper.
“We are not satisfied with the decision because it is not in the interest of the Plateau people,” he said.
Mr. Dawurung said the doors of the union were always open for discussions with the government and called for more dialogue to address the grey areas.
The government had on July 18 gave the striking workers a three-day ultimatum to resume work and directed the heads of the institutions to monitor compliance by registering those at their duty posts.
The lecturers in early September suspended their eight-month old strike after agreements reached with the government. The lecturers, however, resumed another round of strike and accused the government of reneging on the agreements reached.
The workers are protesting against the high tax regime put in place by the government. They also want their salary backlog cleared and other welfare matters addressed.
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