ASUU Strike Hits 7 Months: Is There A Way Out Of This Mess?

ASUU Strike Hits 7 Months: Is There A Way Out Of This Mess?

It is no news that the industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike since February 14. It is also not a news story again that the ASUU has gone on strike sixteen times since the present political dispensation began in 1999. To be sincere, the ASUU is the ‘abiku’ of our education sector, coming and going these several seasons as written by J P Clark in his poem titled Abiku

The reality of our university education is dwarfness, nothing to be reckoned with, a time waster, and an absolute gibberish. It has now degenerated to the state of comatose. No one is being considerate; no one is trying to be merciful. Everyone takes their garment of pride at the expense of the futures of the Nigerian public university students. 

It is disheartening that whenever education becomes the talking point, our leaders become passive and disinterested. They show, if at all, a modicum of proactiveness in investing much in education, the most powerful weapon that can be used to change the world, as stated by Nelson Mandela. The future of the country — the students — does not concern them. The students are now at home for nothing less than 210 days, while none of the two elephants, the federal government and the ASUU, is ready to sheath their sword. 

Rather than settle the lingering issues which resulted in the incessantly protracted industrial actions, the federal government and the ASUU aggravated it to the greatest shock of the populace, especially the Nigerian students. The federal government has sued ASUU to an industrial court. The latter responded by presenting 42 lawyers, of whom 22 are Senior Advocates of Nigeria. It has now become the clash of the Titans. 

The welfarism and interests of the Nigerian students are not in their minds. All they want is their own welfarism and interests, though they may all show little empathy as if they cared. They fight every now and then, yet the students are oblivious of their supposed advantages in the duo’s frequent mettle.  

In the last 30 months, the ASUU has been on strike for nothing less than 15 months and students are forced to stay away from academic activities. As it is now, a lot has happened. Many students have dabbled into some things. Some destinies have become shattered. Few have died while some are not doing well for themselves. Since some are idle, they have become the devil’s workshop. 

While the Nigerian students do not know what the future holds for them, their contemporaries are making waves, birthing new ideas and channeling their strengths into productive developments. All boils down to just having leaders who are insensitive about the plight of their followers and who are not ready to make the country great. 

Is there a way out of this mess? 

There is nothing that Nigerian students can do. They have used their only medium — protest — to show their grievances. However, all has proven abortive. The only way out of the lingering strike is to await the always delayed judgement of the case between the Federal Government and the ASUU. Nonetheless, with how everything pans out, there is little or no hope that the strike will not cross over to next year. 

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