✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters

ASUU: Back to trenches with absolute passion

For most members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the last strike is in tandem with the famous Socrates dictum: “the unexamined mind…

For most members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the last strike is in tandem with the famous Socrates dictum: “the unexamined mind is not worth living.” Therefore, after the decision of the leadership of the union to suspend its eight-month-old strike, academic activities fully resumed in almost all Nigeria’s public universities. 

However, one would have thought that, the lecturers would be indifferent with their duties, if the uncherished and uncomplimentary attitudes of government officials, students and their parents were to be given cognizance. 

It is stating the obvious that, ASUU members were subjected to all kinds of mortification, indignity and humiliation while the strike lasted.

Cock and bull conspiracy were staged against ASUU in both traditional and new media. Troll factory was unleashed against ASUU largely through smearing campaigns, fabrication of lies and libelous press releases.  

Lo and behold, when the strike was suspended, ASUU members returned to their duties with vigour and utter passion. Honestly, this singular posture of demonstrating out-and-out professionalism by my colleagues makes the teaching profession dearer to me.

In my school and department, for example, almost immediately, the management released the revised academic calendar, while postgraduate seminars commenced with utmost sense of responsibility, respectively. 

Some students, including those that have been hurling insult at us, were amazed with the type of reception they got from their teachers. While some were taken aback to see us in flesh and blood, others are burying their heads in shame, as against their wish, we are still well-fed with robust strength to conduct four consecutive hours lectures with no iota of ill-feeling in our relationship with them.

Within a space of about three months, October to mid-December, my department considered theses and dissertations of many students in different seminar series. Same applied to many departments across the university.

As the undergraduate students resumed early this January, despite the nasty environment, lecturers began their classes in earnest, in some instance, we have to wait for our students to come around.

The passion of ASUU members towards the discharge of their responsibilities is infectious and it knows no bounds. A mild encounter between a senior colleague and I demonstrates the patriotism of many Nigerian teachers. I was in a class when he came with his students, telling me that my time was over, as he was supposed to have the next two hours.

However, according to my time table, I have one hour left. A trifling argument set in. We spent few minutes before this senior colleague decided to apply what Hausa people call cin girma (senior wisdom) and left the class for me.

All through my university, everyone is busy diligently executing his duties with aura of “we are not resting on our oars to change Nigeria through modelling of the right manpower and setting agenda for the political class and the general public”. 

Therefore, for ASUU and its members, the venom of the viper does nothing to the back of a tortoise. Life goes on and Nigeria must be great, while the real owners of Nigeria will take possession of their country; and people that are personification of all that is evil will soon, bitterly, realise the real meaning of “power is transient.”

Isa Sa’idu, PhD, is of the Department of Political Science and International Relations, ABU, Zaria