Asuu strike: A Wake Up Call From The Festival

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    Aug 21, 2013
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Asuu strike: A Wake Up Call From The Festival Photo by Ademola Taiwo

Asuu Strike: A Wake Up Call From The Festive Period

Regrettably!!! That is the situation of things in virtually every sector in the economy and political system in Nigeria. Once again, I present you with another “regrettably”: The ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities strike which has sarcastically become a festival that needs to be observed annually. The students being the reason for the festival, ASUU members, being the performer, who vigorously display to be seen and appreciated while the government being the spectator who sits and watch the festival probably enjoying it. In all avoidance of sarcasm, have graphically represented to you, how the strike is to be sadly viewed.

Now I ask when will this festival end? Because it seems the performer have unwavered energy and the spectators seem to be undeterred about the performance. At least, attention should be shifted to the ‘grass’ that suffers. Both the performer and spectator should know better, they are intellectuals.

Rhetorically, at what stage do we start regretting; is it since the inception of the ministry of education? Is it since the government never paid attention to the development of youths? Is it since they only allotted a miserable 8% of the national budget to education? Is it since we have a lecturer as minister of education with no effect? Is it since standard of education has fallen in their very eyes through outpouring of mushroom primary school? Is it since the certificate of Nigerian students not recognized in the international market? Is it since even our leaders send their wards overseas because they lost faith in the educational system? Is it since the NUC as accreditors have made that duty questioned? is it since the different irregularities, loquacious administration and immoral behavior of all sorts we hear about in the university campus….I tell you, we sure have lots to regret about, a lot to be sad about because of the imminent danger that awaits the educational sector, it is on the brink of a gully and I challenge this generation to put off the fire on this mountain.

Hands akimbo and putting our hand on the cheek are negative attitudes at this developmental stage. A Yoruba adage says ‘ogun asotele ki paro’ meaning ‘ a foretold war does not meet the crippled unawares’ we need to wake from our slumber, we should know that this festival cannot continue for long, if we care about the future, about the seemingly ‘future leaders’ of tomorrow. We should know if they are not well trained and tame, they will later become social burdens and violent individuals. Then, it will be our problem. It is rather unfortunate that we do not learn from the past, we don’t understand the present that is the reason, we don’t safeguard the future; the boko-haram sect are there for us.

Oh! We believe we will send our children abroad for learning, that is not the solution to the problem, because they will finally return and face the circus, they will return and be harassed by those we failed to educate. At least we have lots of people around now that bagged degrees over there but did not rub off on them, because even when they were in the position to effect a change, they couldn’t tackle the problem but rather shyed away from it showing the highest level of insensitivity—a minister of ours comes to mind.

To assert the asserted, capitalism is a system we have adopted in Nigeria, where the economic and political arrangement, human and material resources through the owning of factors of production are in the hands of private individuals. We have too numerous to mention capitalist in Nigeria that through their well-meaning contribution, they will be that savior we have been waiting for in the educational sector, at least they do, travel to Europe and they know how well capitalist like themselves have contributed in no small measure to the nation. Certainly, I believe that this set of individuals can pull resources together and save us. They can liase with the government and do something memorable. Apart from this people, religious bodies, clerics, intellectuals and our traditional leaders are called on at this stage. Dont wait till we have scars after the war.

Responsibility and duty calls on the government to wake up, the festival is over. Privatization is quietly crawling in to the educational sector and it will soon take over us, if nothing is done about it. Then, we will be bading our precious educational sector “Farewell” I tell you, whether in this world or that which we don’t know, you will surely be held accountable for your actions because I know, most of you are aiding that privatization. We shouldn’t wait for the festival before we know that the yams are out, we shouldn’t wait for strikes before we know we ought to take an action. Do something for the sake of history, and focus to that which needs more attention. Don’t be overwhelmed with frivolities and uncertainties of 2015. Re-strategize and set priority well and do the right thing.

Finally, to the ‘grass’ that suffers, we need to join with the performers and pass the right message to the spectators. We need to use our youthful, unwavered energy and unquenchable thirst for knowledge to fight till the end. As a writer in punch said “ a war to end all wars” this is not about the universities now, this is about the educational sector in Nigeria and I call on our counterparts and brothers in the polytechnics and colleges to wholly support this course.

Regrettably, I conclude again, where is the future? Can I still believe in Nigeria? Where does hope lies? These are hungry yearnings of a battered youth in Nigeria. All bodies and organizations should rise to the duty and save this generation and the one yet unborn. All hands must be on deck. The time is Now!!!
Written by  Ademola Taiwo, a  student of      
Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye
Faculty of law

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