Many students have lamented the ongoing nationwide strike by university lecturers, ASUU; calling for a quick resolution of the dispute with the federal government.
ASUU has been on strike since July 1 after it accused the federal government of reneging on a 2009 agreement with the union.
A 400-level student of the University of Jos, Lukman Rahim, expressed his disappointment at the strike that has taken hundreds of thousands of Nigerian students away from class.
“I must express my deep and profound disappointment in the way and manner the federal government has chosen to handle the education sector of the Nigerian economy, a sector which is supposed to be described as ‘primus interepers non secondum’; that is first amongst equal and second to none,” he said.
Mr. Rahim, a student of the Department of Accounting and former financial secretary of the university’s Students Union said “in term of priority, education has been jettisoned into judicial lagoon never to see the light of the day.”
The final-year student said he has used the opportunity of the strike to engage in businesses such as “the customization of T-shirts, souvenirs, printing of exclusive posters, invitation cards, and complementary cards.”
“We are all waiting for the clarion call to be made (for ASUU to call off its strike) so that we can all go back to school to finish what we started,” he said.
Another student, Kehinde Olufisayo, a 400-level History student of the University of Lagos blamed the federal government for the strike.
“The demands of ASUU are genuine, being that the federal government was sane in the midst of signing the MOU in 2009, again the federal government has paid so much attention lately on the private enterprises by funding them with huge amounts,” he said.
He, however, appealed to the striking lecturers to consider the interests of students who are at home because of the strike.
Another student, Blessing Onuha, a 100- level student of the University of Enugu, said the strike has enabled her to “earn more money so I could take care of myself when ASUU decides to call off the strike.”
“Before I gained admission into the university to study Nursing, I wanted to be a makeup artist because I stayed at home for 3years before I gained admission; you know how it is in Nigeria with JAMB? So I went to a makeup school to acquire the knowledge and then I finally got the admission but now am home actually practicing and getting more money’, she said.
Ms. Onuha advised the striking lecturers to ensure they resolve their issues with the government permanently and not make strikes a regular occurrence.
“I had hoped that if ASUU could just do this strike once and for all and get it done with so that there will be no more strike again, because I had heard my aunties and uncle say that the strike has been on for a long time, like it’s seasonal.
“I hope the government can solve the problem so it does not become a habit that ASUU must go strike almost every year’, she added
ASUU declared an indefinite strike based on the refusal of government to honor the terms of a 2009 agreement and a 2012 memorandum of understanding it signed with the lecturers on improved welfare for staff and increased funding for public universities.