To begin with I have very high regard for ASUU and its enlightened members. To say the least, I never supported their modus operandi (strike), their incessant call for more money for their members and the system (University) alone. It will be unfair to ASUU for one to expect University teachers Union to fight for the betterment of the lower levels of education (primary and secondary) in the nation but then going by their claim as a union of intellectuals, the expectation is in order. Since the success or otherwise of the University system depends entirely on the successes of the lower levels, ASUU in all their collective intellects never down tools for lack of infrastructures, better working conditions, quality of products of these levels and pay packages. It was predicted by a Professor, whose name I can’t recall (ASUU member of course) in the early 2000, that a time will come (or has come) when a Nigerian UNIVERSITY graduate can’t write a single correct English sentence! With this enlighten prediction by a fellow member, did ASUU went on strike for the obvious reasons which are perennial lack of basic teaching learning materials and qualified personnel in the lower levels of education in the nation? NO! Strikes are for pay package as per with European and American universities and autonomy! We all have tons of stories how some ASUU members victimized and destroyed lives of students for very flimsy excuses, lecturers becoming dictators. Did ASUU looked inward among themselves to fish out the culprits or tried to change the popular perception of most students or parents has of a public University lecturer as someone who doesn’t care as long as his salary is paid on time whether the students succeed or not.
Finally I am of the conviction that ASUU has derailed, from a progressive union of intellectuals to a pressure group with very low public sympathy and very negative perception!
Zaharaddeen Aliyu, Katsina.