Regardless of being labelled as someone who goes contrary to the Academic Staff Union of University’s struggles, I must say that the decision for the union to extend their warning strike to two months after exhausting a whole month must be a shocker to every concerned citizen.
It is understandable that strike works for labour unions, but the manner in which ASUU recklessly engages in multiple strikes has made many mock them whenever they declare their intention to embark on a strike.
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I don’t think there’s any justifiable reason for ASUU to make innocent students their scapegoats whenever they need something from the government. In spite of all the available means at their disposal, I wonder why ASUU will fail to devise means for achieving their goals without resorting to strike with the resultant effects of stopping our children’s studies. Does strike not sound boring to ASUU? One must have heard enough of ASUU’s incessant strikes.
As custodians of knowledge, we look up to them for new inventions, methods, techniques and approaches. Therefore, one must ask: Why will ASUU choose strike as the only alternative? ASUU can assemble all their members to hit the nation’s streets to vehemently project whatever grievances they have. ASUU can also boycott all government’s programmes to press home their demands.
We are now very close to the 2023 elections. Will ASUU ask its members not to participate in the elections as supervisors, and collation officers? It’ll be better for ASUU to involve high profile personalities in their continued deliberations with the government than to further elongate the strike by two additional months thereby spending the whole semester in industrial action.
ASUU should send a very powerful delegation to former heads of state like Abdussalami Abubakar, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Olusegun Obasanjo, Yakubu Gowon so as to put more pressure on the government to fulfill the agreements it entered with the union.
The failure of the series of strikes should serve as a clear signal for ASUU to think of more options than strike. This will keep the academic activities going on while it continues with negotiations with the government.
As he did during the 2015 elections, the former Head of State Gen. Abdussalami Abubakar can serve as an intermediary between ASUU and the government. Religious bodies like the Nigeria’s Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, (NSCIA) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) shouldn’t be left out of this operation “force government to honour ASUU’s agreements”. Moreover, ASUU can involve the help of clerics across the country to help in resolving issues between it and the government.
Abbas Datti can be reached via email@example.com