ASUU STRIKE: THE HYPOCRISY OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Reading through the news of the implementation of the no work, no pay policy of the federal government towards the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) pressing demands has been received with mixed feelings. It's an eyesore how much our educational sector is rotting and decaying nowadays, with no one to revamp the system. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on an indefinite strike since November 5, 2018, to press home the government agreement with the union to honour its 2009 agreements; funding of public universities, earned academic allowances, salary shortfalls and pension matters.
Successive governments have shown no serious interest in the Educational sector of Nigeria; we have poor/inadequate hostel facilities, congested lecture halls, overstrained laboratories, poor sanitary conditions, amongst others. Undergraduates sit on bare floors or stand to have a gaze of the lecturer through the window. In most universities, you find situations where a lecture hall meant for 150 students becomes a theatre for a thousand students.
In Nigeria, we have the ratio of 1 lecturer to 120 students. Shame! No wonder we churn out such a large number of half-baked graduates who have no contributive factor towards our society. Little wonder then, that amongst the world top 1000 Universities, only Nigeria’s premier University of Ibadan featured at a distant 801-100th according to 2018 times Higher Education world university rankings.
Since the commencement of the ongoing strike, FG and ASUU had met three-times without a resolution. The federal government has been toying with the future of her citizens by manoeuvring from the demands of the Union. Appealing for sacrifice of the lecturers at the edge of a failed sector, threat of no work, no pay policy to force them to resume. This shows the kind of despotic style the government employs at ruling her citizens.
The withdrawal of the federal government statement of the no work, no pay policy shows how clueless and unserious they are about attending to the demands of the ASUU, shall we say that owing to the fact that the public office holders don't have wards/kids in the Nigerian universities is responsible for this attitude? Students are back home, classrooms are all slammed shut, Lecturers' offices under lock. Unemployment rate keeps skyrocketing and criminal activities is on the high rise due to the strike; devil finds work for the idle hand they say.
I hereby implore the Federal Government to heed to ASUU’s demands with all sincerity and diligence; also ASUU should embrace dialogue and call off the strike as we all sit on a keg of gun-powder.
May God bless Nigeria!
Adegbite Victor Oluwaferanmi (Ernest) is a 100 level law undergraduate at Olabisi Onabanjo University