More than two weeks have passed since the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on an indefinite strike and yet nothing meaningful has come out of their meetings with the government concerning the strike. ASUU at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held on 3rd and 4th November, 2018, at the Federal University of technology, Akure (FUTA), resolved to resume the nationwide strike it suspended in September, 2017 and yet nothing tangible has been done to avert the situation.
Reacting to this, the National President of the ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said all entreaties made to the Federal Government to honour the agreement with the union fell on deaf ears and they had no other alternative but to begin the strike. This is sad news as the strike compels students to stay away from school activities and examination.
This is a sad turn of event as most students are praying earnestly for the Federal Government to fulfill its promise to ASUU so that the strike could be called off as they were preparing for their examination and some universities were already writing examination before the commencement of the strike. Many students whose parents could not afford their transport fare back home due to the fact that they were not anticipating the strike and
therefore did not make provisions for it, are still roaming around the campuses aimlessly.
While interacting with some students concerning the ongoing strike, Salmat Abdulwaheed, a Master of Science (MSc) student in the Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano, expressed her worry when she said, “This strike has really disorganised my plans. Personally, my plan was to do my internal defence
before the end of this year but as it is now, I am not sure whether the internal defence will hold this year. But why would the Federal Government renege on the agreement when it has the money? I am pleading with the Federal Government to settle ASUU so that we can go back to school.”
Corroborating this, Abubakar Aliyu Abba, a lecturer at the Federal Polytechnic Mubi, Adamawa State, in the Department of Mass Communication, also established that the strike is indeed a setback to students and lecturers alike.
He pointed out that ASUU should dialogue with the Federal Government in order to come up with a lasting solution so that students can get back to school, do their defence and also write their examination.”
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, should be commended for the efforts they have made so far to see that the strike is called off.
However, I must confess that their efforts are not yielding any good result since ASUU and the Federal Government have not reached an agreement. They should do more by ensuring that the demands of ASUU are met within the shortest time, and thereby redeem their image in the sight of the students and also carve their names in gold.
► Aondover Eric Msughter wrote from the Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano