SIR: As students of public universities expect positive outcome from the second consultation of the various chapters of the Academic Union of Universities, ASUU, to review the ongoing industrial action, I have this to say: ASUU is understandably reluctant to end this strike. ASUU’s recent actions and inactions question their commitment, readiness to go back to the classrooms. I must say that if students’ interest is number one priority of ASUU, they should now consider the offers given to them by the federal government and waste no time to call off this strike.
Recall that exemption from IPPIS, increment of Earned Academic Allowances, EAA, and revitalization of universities were some major concern of ASUU; these have been exhaustively and positively resolved. Therefore, I wonder, having these issues addressed, what stops ASUU from ending this strike? One may continue to ask: for how long it will take ASUU to consider students’ frustrations?
The students, the parents, guardians and the generality of Nigerians are looking up to ASUU to, as a matter of fact, end this strike for the sake of the students’ future. Because, to me, this is the most elongated strike in the history of this country. Subjecting every single decision to innumerable consultations, as ASUU is wont to do, will further add more pains to the already emotionally disturbed students. Initially, the labour and employment minister was lampooned by Nigerians for not acting in the right way to bring ASUU back to the negotiation table. However, with his latest efforts, the minister has left no one in doubt about his determination to resolve ASUU’s grievances.
I urge ASUU to cooperate with the minister to find a lasting solution to this crisis. Despite distractions from some quarters, discernible minds could easily notice how eager, committed, determined the minister was to put all matters to a resolution. But failure to reciprocate the same and ASUU’s bureaucratic foot-dragging will continue to delay the long-anticipated students’ resumption.
With government shifting grounds on most of ASUU’s demands, especially on the issue of IPPIS, any attempt on ASUU’s part to further prolong this strike action might raise questions about ASUU’s genuine concerns about their students’ plights. The government has made enough concessions to resolve this crisis, and based on the previous negotiations, they are ready to even further compromise. But, despite government’s repeated promises, ASUU is unwilling to make any. How do you expect the university students to be on the same page with ASUU when the impression being created is that ASUU is not in hurry to call off this strike? These strike actions do no good to anyone but frustration and humiliation. Certainly, not the students, the tertiary education sub-sector, and the nation’s educational system in general.
- Abbas Datti,