AAU REFORMS …… let’s give Adagboyin a chance
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has been on a national strike since February, 2022 to press home their legitimate demands. The strike has for the third time be extended for another four weeks. The Federal Government of Nigeria has not shown any serious commitment to honour the mutual agreement signed with the union in 1999. From all indications, the strike is bound to continue for a very long time.
I do not begrudge ASUU for trying to make the Federal Government honour their agreement. My only concern is that neither the children of the government officials nor most ASUU top officials are bearing the brunt. The students who are made Guinea pigs in this egotistic war are the children of Nigerians who unlike the government officials and top ASUU officials, cannot afford to send them to private universities or abroad.
Is it not ironic that while the unfortunate students of public universities have been stagnated, JAMB and NYSC programs are still running uninterrupted? Of course, the students from private universities and those abroad are the ones having the opportunities to participate in the admissions through JAMB and also feeding the NYSC schemes while their counterparts in public schools are kept at home. This has made the gladiators in the war between ASUU and the Federal Government whose children are not affected by the prolonged strike to hold extreme positions.
I laugh when I read or hear ASUU officials saying that the strike is for the benefit of the students while the Federal Government is saying it cannot afford to meet the demands of ASUU. They keep other children at home while theirs continue their education uninterrupted .
It is against these that I want to salute the selfless and courageous steps taken by the Acting Vice Chancellor of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Professor Sunni Adagboyin. His decision to open the university and resume lectures in the midst of the strike by ASUU is a welcome relieve to the students and parents of the foremost Nigerian state university.
It must be noted that the economic hub of Ekpoma and its environs revolves round the university. Closing down the school for so long, apart from the mental and psychological torture students and parents are made to go through, businesses are virtually grounded. The resultant effects include rise in crime, cultism and unemployment.
I must commend the lecturers and administrative staff who have also sacrificed to assist the AVC in ensuring that the school resumed lectures. Professor Sunni Adagboyin with his team have shown uncommon zeal and patriotism when they are needed most. All stake holders should rally round them to ensure that the bright future of the Children of the less privileged in the society, who are the targets of the visioner, Late Professor Ambrose Alli are not dimmed.
I call on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency. Come to a compromise with ASUU so that the children of the less privileged who have no where to go, can resume.
Enough is enough.