In Nigeria, almost all higher institutions of learning are presently on strike. This issue has been a major discourse all over the country and this is nothing to write home about. Hapless students are at home, having nothing to engage in than sleeping, eating, walking aimlessly in the street, and all other non-profitable time-consuming tasks. This is disheartening.
According to Fafunwa (1977), education is conceptualised as, “the aggregate of all the processes by which the child or young adult develops his abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviour, which are of positive value to the society in which he lives”. Also, education is the greatest weapon that can be used to get the world change, an apology to Nelson Mandela. In a country whereby education is toyed with, underdevelopment is certain. No wonder, this country has not reached the denouement.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike which kicked off early this year, precisely February 14, has again been extended by another four weeks, with immediate effect. When I saw this horrendous, foul-smelling news, I felt sad to its extremity. How long shall the innocent students endure this waste of precious time? Are these sets of people after our comfort? According to Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, the president of ASUU, the extension was done to grant the government a breathing space to cogitate and hearken their calls by doing what they are saddled or expected to do.
Additionally, an idle hand, indubitably, is a devil’s workshop, as it is popularly said. Those political merchants, as the 2023 general election is swiftly approaching, may exploit the students at home to partake in political thuggery.
Some students have calculated the actual age they will become university graduates, and with the wave of the incessant strike, their mathematics has been rendered incorrect. Some may have reached thirty years, which may deprive such a person of the opportunity to embark on his/her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program.
In all spheres, unapologetically, Buhari’s government has failed. During the last campaign, Gen. Mohammadu Buhari promised free education, stable electricity, asphaltic roads, and good economic condition, and all of these were swallowed hook, line, and sinker by the Nigerians. Unfortunately, all these promises are breached and unfulfilled. What will rather encounters are; incessant strikes, bad roads, and economic woes.
Femi Gbajabiamala, the Speaker of Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber, uploaded a picture on Twitter, of where he was receiving a leadership course at Harvard Kennedy School abroad. Children of political bigwigs are schooling abroad. This shows he is not sensitive to people’s plight.
At this juncture, my candid advice to Nigerian students, as the ASUU strike continues as stated in the headline, is to utilize this period to venture into the learning of vocations like tailoring, hairdressing, barbing, carpentry, graphics designing, painting, etc. Also, in the presidential come 2023, we should disallow those desperate aspirants from bamboozling us with the pennies they usually distribute. Let our fundamental human right to vote be prudently exercised. Nigerian government’s aim to annihilate students’ future will be a futile exercise. We are created to roar and, attain the peak. Posterity will judge and history will never be fair to those who see nothing in destroying the plans of the students.
Ogbomoso, Oyo state.