This ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is toxic, tormenting and extremely sad. The 7 month-old strike is worse than a problem, it is clearly a disaster.
For every problem, there must be solution. When disasters occur in the past, people consult the oracle for divine solutions which can be performing of rites or carrying of sacrifices and the disaster would wade off.
But it appears this disaster called “ASUU strike” has no permanent solution. The oracle ‘Ifa’ has pegged the solution to the coming together of both parties. They have come together to resolve issues but the strike persists. Why?
Ifa ki i paro (Ifa never tells a lie), Opele ki i seke (instrument used for divination is never false). The coming together of the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities every year to discuss possible solutions always ended with promises because it lacks sincerity.
Both parties are driven by parochial interests of their classes. The FG is not ready to allocate funds to areas where they can not benefit wholly while ASUU is not ready to place the interests of students over welfare of their members.
Students represent the ‘ball’. ASUU represents a football team while the federal government also represent a football team. In a match of draw between two teams, only the ball suffers. If ball were to be a human, the cries and agonies every match would not be palatable.
Sadly, the federal government is only ready to play games and ASUU, as a labour union rightly to be driven by the interests of its member is equally not ready for lip service. Who will bear the brunt? Students. Most public varsities lecturers work as part-time, limiting the effects of unpaid salaries on them.
There must be consequences. People must be held responsible for any strike action that lasts longer than two weeks. Both ministers and members of any union whose strike action lasted more than two weeks must also face consequences.
The implementation of ‘no work no pay’ and suspension or removal of heads of ministries must be introduced to the polity. Students only should not bear the brunt or suffer for decision of others.
This infamous strike action is shamelessly disastrous and a danger is looming ahead if stakeholders and responsible citizens refuse to take clear actions that would return students back to their various campuses.
Following the return of civil rule in 1999, ASUU embarked on a strike that lasted for five months.
From 1999 to 2022, the union has gone on strike for 6 years cumulatively with same demands majorly proper funding of Nigerian universities and better working conditions for their members.
As a child, my loving father would always advise us that we should not engage in wicked acts. He always echoed it to our ears that wicked people unknowingly dug two graves after every wicked act, one for the victim and the other for themselves.
ASUU strike is no doubt a disaster digging two graves. For the past seven months, Nigerian students have gone through a lot of hardship.
Aside a forceful pause and denial of growth in their academic pursuit, they have gone through emotional torture and psychological trauma from folks in private institutions.
However, these sad developments are minimal when compared to increase in crime rate, loss of students’ life and rising preference status of private varsities among others caused by the prolonged ASUU strike.
Few weeks ago, a young undergraduate was kidnapped from her place of work as a temporary staff of a hotel in Ogbomosho.
Many students have fallen victims of similar tragic incidents probably unreported that would have been prevented if schools were not closed.
Some students have also abandoned schools totally while others have gone to private or state varsities to complete their education, leaving the helpless and disadvantaged at the mercy of an obstinate union and ever compromising government.
This prolonged strike has denied Nigeria students several opportunities. Quite a number of students resumed yahoo business shortly after the commencement of strike actions in February. Some students could not process their scholarships due to strike actions. disaster
When the damaging effects of increase in crime rate hit the system, we all would bear the consequence. Government officials, lecturers would not be spared. Some analysts and stakeholders have also posited that the continued strike action is a win for terrorist and banditry groups who are enemies of education advancement.
There is no better time to urge the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities to resolve their differences amicably and open our campuses for students roaming streets carelessly.
Both parties must be ready to shift grounds and the federal government must show its readiness to be committed to agreements and stop digging the graves deeper.