Let me start by calling on the federal government, especially the authority concerned, to intervene and consider the demand of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which is contained in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which has been on paper since 2009. Students are usually the victims of ASUU’s indefinite industrial actions. It is therefore necessary for students to express their feelings over the incessant disharmony between the federal government and ASUU squabble that resulted in hurting their studies and disrupt their academic session.
Many people, especially students ask why strike is the only fighting weapon for the universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, other public service unions to warn or demand something from government. Is there no other option than embarking on strike? Is embarking on strike the only action for them before the government will accede to their demands? These questions may seem simple but they are intricate.
The President Muhammadu Buhari administration looks a bit complacent than the previous administrations when it comes to the welfare of the citizens in terms of educational provisions. The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who is a former newspaper columnist, was an ardent critic of the past administration over poor policy in the education sector. He is now in charge of the education sector but the trust and confidence students had in him has waned. Aside the last resolution of 10 months industrial action by ASUU, the minister of education, accountant general of the federation and minister of labour are now still provoking ASUU despite the consequences of such actions on the students’ education; they should to solve the issues before they go out of hand.
The word “strike” in our dear country Nigeria especially in public schools has become the second most popular word after “graduation”. Most students in public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education must have experienced many strikes before graduation (we are the victims).
Sometimes, i seriously used cackle and blubber for our country Nigeria whenever I look at how our schools have become dilapidated and the kind of education system we have. The way Nigerian leaders are playing with our future by making things hard for the poor people is quite unfortunate. Although, their children are not affected because they send them to the best schools abroad but Nigerian leaders should have some pity for the masses.
Lastly, I wish ASUU would not embark on this industrial action. I’m hereby calling on the federal government and ASUU to consider the consequences of the proposed strike because COVID-19 has already taken much from us (the students). Nigerian students urge you to please don’t bring another nightmare.
Zainab Umaru,Department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Borno state