ASUU Strick: the strikers, the umpires, the big players and the helpless spectators
Dear readers, I write to you as a concerned Nigerian student, who has been severally frustrated, suffered at the hands of the ‘BIG PLAYERS’, and has been a victim of oppression.
I write to inform you of my interest to join the Social Media war against the injustices of the ‘BIG PLAYERS’. If possible, I would start another dimension of this war and to a greater extent.
ASUU strike is now 60 days and counting, yet the government and its agents have never shown concern, nor interest in resolving the matters. SSANU and NASU have also jumped on the bandwagon.
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It seems their ‘deaf eyes and blind ears’ can only be opened through semi-violent and demi-intellectual demonstrations.
Let me start by saying, “if you have never been a leader, you might not know the heavy responsibilities attached to it, and if you have never suffered or been a victim of oppression, you might not know how it feels to be oppressed.”
I have been in both shoes, this is the more reason I am so sensitive and active when it comes to the choice of leaders/leadership and that is to allay the thoughts that this writer has biased motives during the reading and writing of this piece.
More so, before you say I’m overzealous before you say I’m breeding hatred towards the ruling/political class, or tag my actions, inactions, and reactions as an act of insubordination and aggression towards constituted authorities and leaders, let me briefly narrate my ordeals as an undergraduate NCE student in one the government-owned Colleges of Education.
I was admitted in the last quarter of 2016, November/December 2016, but couldn’t resume until March 2017, because there was a strike during those periods.
3 months after resumption in March, the school was closed in June/July 2017, with a resumption by August 2017.
2 months after, there was another Strike embarked upon in October/November 2017, which we resumed by February 2018 ( that was 5 months Strike).
The school was closed in June/July 2018, and purportedly re-opened by August 2018.
There was an overlapping Strike embarked upon in September 2018, through October, November, December 2018 and January 2019 (5 months Strike).
And there was another overlapping Strike (in the guise of an Inter-semester break) from January 2019 through April 2019 (4 months). And that was the last one I experienced before I graduated in that same year (2019).
Basically, a number of times school closed (in years):
2016 – 1
2017 – 2 times.
2018 – 2 times.
2019 – 1
Total number of times – 6
Time frame (in months):
2016 – 2 months
2017 – 8 months
2018 – 8 months
2019 – 4 months
Total: 22 months
These periods that the school was closed came as a result of both internal and external crises, and non-payment of salaries of staff among others.
I had thought that my ordeal is over, not knowing that it’s just started.
(The above statistical record might not be accurate, however, it represents the results of searched information by the writer on this subject matter).
Note that NCE is a three-year program (made up of 6 semesters) in Colleges of Education.
There were several liberation struggles, confrontational movements and demonstrations during these periods. Not to be forgotten are the intelligentsia and intellectual activisms of my comrades. We saw many victims of oppression, those who sacrificed their careers and lives in the field of struggle. On that, I say, history will never forget.
…”that evil ended, so also may this…”
The brief narration above is to make you understand that the ‘BIG PLAYERS’ in this game are neither ready to accept defeat nor settle the scores. That’s usually their behaviours and attitudes. And this should be an utmost concern to all spectators (made up of the affected students, parents/guardians and other stakeholders). I do appreciate the individual Students, student leaders, and group of students for their doggedness, patience and actions so far concerning this matter, while I do that, I want to remind you and call your attention to the only but effective and immediate weapon in our arsenal, which is DEMONSTRATION. We will have to deploy this weapon through the use of Social Media, open letters to the government and its officials, taking to the streets for confrontational movements, and perpetual motions of appeal to concerned stakeholders.
This should be done, if and only if students are ready to go back to their classes.
Let me conclude this piece by saying that, Industrial Action (popularly known as Strikes) in Nigerian public institutions is nothing but a war without bloodshed. Which we have been fighting since time immemorial.
I hope we win again this time.
I admit to any errors committed during writing this piece.
I reserve the exclusive rights to alter and delete this piece in any part thereof whenever it appears to me to be inciting, encouraging or constituting public disorder or violence.
I will write to you again.
Student, Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan.