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  Why ASUU Shouldn’t Embark on Strike

Abdulrasheed Abdulkareem

Abdulrasheed Abdulkareem

Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) announced to hold a national meeting on Monday, 14th February 2022 to declare its final decision on the looming strike. How ASUU is threatening the federal government on this strike caused students to be frightened that another indefinite sad holiday is coming.

On Tuesday, 8th February 2022, a meeting was held with the ASUU chairperson of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS), M.N Almustapha, and leaders of the university’s unions at the university ASUU secretariat. The outcome of the discussion proved more than the average percentage possibility of ASUU to embark on the imminent strike because the chairperson said “we have been pushed to the wall and students should understand that they may not graduate the year they suppose to graduate because of the strike but that will not stop ASUU.”

Also, a lecturer from the university of Calabar pasted a poster that read thus: “Federal Government (FG) declared a strike, ASUU obeyed. So, if ASUU strikes, blame FG, not ASUU.” ASUU often said the federal government is yet to fulfill the 2009 ASUU/Government memorandum of agreement.

Nevertheless, ASUU should not embark on this coming strike if truly the union is fighting for us (students) as claimed. The disadvantages of the strike are more than its advantages to students, so there should be other means to fight the government rather than strike. It’s obvious that none of this government has children in public universities, so there’s no way they can feel the strike, rather the problem will still rain us (students) that you are fighting for.

One of the reasons why ASUU should not embark on the strike is because of the academic calendar. The university academic calendar of the university has been disrupted due to Covid 19 and the union long strike in 2020, it’s ridiculous that we are in 2022; the current academic session is 2020/2021, yet the union is threatening to embark on another indefinite strike. If truly you wanted the education system to be well, the strike is not the next option.

Insecurity is enough to call ASUU kind eyes to avert the looming strike, in the sense that if ASUU declares a strike, students will have no choice but to go back to their father’s house; many students are schooling in a far place from their residence. What if they get into kidnappers, Boko haram, and bandits’ hands in the course of touring back home.

Also, ASUU should deter this strike to save students from being involved in accidents while traveling back to their domiciles. Recently, Fatima Zahra Saliu, a 200 Level Human Medicine student of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS) lost her life in an accident on her way to Kebbi from Sokoto.

Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) is not hesitating from conducting the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) for secondary school graduates; some graduates haven’t gotten admission into higher institutions despite that they pass UTME because of delays in university academic sessions. The cause is nothing than the ASUU strike, if this is not curbed sympathetically, Nigeria we have a high rate of useless O’level holders.

It’s absurd that since 1978 when the union (ASUU) was established till date, their belief is still “strike is the only language the government understands.” An alternative medium for fighting the government is supposed to have been discovered because the strike means nothing to the government anymore.

If ASUU cannot sue the federal government to court as alleged by UDUS ASUU Chairperson, the constitution should be amended to ban every politician from sending their children overseas for undergraduate and postgraduate programs. If each of them from local to federal tiers of government have children in public universities, they will also feel the pain of using eight years for a four years course.

Instead of a strike, ASUU can seek assistance from strong international organizations such as UNESCO, USAID, UNICEF, COL, Ford Foundation, British Council, just to mention a few. These institutions can provide the financial help which the system needs rather than strike at all times.

Alternatively, 2023 election is approaching and ASUU members would partake in successful conduct of the election due to their integrity and belief in a government that they cannot rig election. So, ASUU can use that to threaten FG that they won’t help in the coming election if their demands are not met. ASUU also has the authority to prevent corp members from partaking in the election program.

Abdulrasheed Akere is an Education Biology student at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS), he can be reached via rashworld2000alive@gmail.com; 09137207766.

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