ASUU strike: Causing more harm than good

Last Updated on May 22, 2022 by Memorila

ASUU has overbeaten the use of strike actions and thus should come up with alternative effective industrial action, Adamu Muhammad Nababa writes

The one-month strike action declared and embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has as expected, drawn a lot of attentions. Some are against the action, while many are in support. Whatever follows, we are really bemused with the actions of the striking lecturers, just as we equally are with the inactions of the federal government on many instances.

For sure, the federal government is the main culprit for being constantly and justifiably so, unable to discharge its responsibilities to such a vital sector like the university education.

However, much as we try to understand the logic of ASUU and go along with their standpoints and agitations, we find it difficult to be at ease when we realize that strike actions have become more of pastimes than agitations that yield results.

And if we are to itemise the major gains of such strikes over the years, the coming on board of ETF/TETFUND has been touted by the lecturers as their way of forcing the government to do something positive for the education sector.

Furthermore, we also find it difficult at times to distinguish between the federal team and ASUU team when it comes to negotiations. ASUU members are in one way or the other fully visible in all the educational agencies, including TETFUND, the NUC, JAMB, NTI, NCCE, etc. who always keep mute when strike actions are being muted or negotiated.

The current minister of education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has been a long ally of ASUU. Today, he is on the other side. Perhaps its members always take refuge in government appointments without making any effort to make government do the needful of funding education.

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In as much as we want to understand ASUU, we cannot understand why students cannot graduate within their periods of graduation, pushing postgraduates and even undergraduates to their limits.

The university system in Nigeria, has by the incessant strikes done more damage to the image of the Nigerian academic community than the erring federal government which has been a revolving door of leadership in every eight years. The universities are always there, thus they are losing out in all assessment index worldwide.

Looking at the Nigerian context and political mindset, negotiations and agreements may continue forever, until when the university system is able to come to terms with the realities and as most sectors have since realized.

Adamu Muhammad Nababa writes from Kano, Nigeria.

M. A. Nababa

M. A. Nababa is an essayist with deep interest in education and history. He has written on several topical issues for decades. And he is the co-founder of Memorila.

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