Following the suspension of 99days strike by the Academic Staff Union of
Universities (ASUU) on the 7th of February 2019, Nigerians, especially
youths have taken to social media to voice their displeasure to the state
of education of the country. While many students long to get back to
campus, the circumstances surrounding the suspension of the strike seemed
to have eroded the excitement of going back to school.
Surprisingly, there is some sort of unanimity in the trend of opinions
shared on social media as many people think the suspension is strictly for
political reasons and no part of the negotiation prioritizes the interest
of the students.
With the National election coming up on the 16th of February, 2019, a
school of thought thinks that the suspension is political considering that
about 22 million students’ votes will be lost if at the time of election,
they are not on campus – which is their voting centers. This leaves many
questions unanswered. To the political class, maybe the life of the
Nigerian youth is not any more important than the usefulness of their
As it stands, ASUU has signed a Memorandum of Action (MoA) on the
condition that the government pays outstanding arrears and releases a sum
of N25 billion (in April/May 2019) in addition to the N20 billion paid in
2018 after which government would resume full implementation of the MoU of
Going by the breach of agreement demonstrated by the government in the
past, this implies that the probability of the government honouring this
MoA is largely dependent on the outcome of the February 16th 2019 national
However, despite ASUU founding its claim on the theme of revitalization of
public universities, many students do not share this sentiment as some
school of thought even suggested that the management of ASUU be audited
for the N200 billion naira received from the Goodluck Jonathan
administration. To say the fact, despite ASUU’s regular strike action, the
Nigerian university system is still in a deplorable state. Across boards,
students’ campus accommodation facilities keeps deteriorating;
laboratories are still underequipped; class conditions still inconducive
for learning, libraries remain dysfunctional and have been reduced to mere
reading rooms. For this reasons, it is understandable that students who
are meant to be the beneficiary of ASUU’s struggle now perceive the strike
as a time-wasting occurrence that keeps them in school longer than
In an opinion poll conducted on the subject matter, Hannah Olaniran, a
postgraduate student of the University of Ibadan stated “The completion of
my second degree is being delayed and I suspect that the strike suspension
is a selfish strategy on the path of the government with respect to the
upcoming election”. Sulaimon Agbaogun, a postgraduate student of the same
institution shares Hannah’s thought. He took the comical approach when he
said “It’s a four plus four strategy”.
Therefore, with students (youths) distrustful of the government and unsure
of the transparency of their lecturers struggle, they find themselves at
the receiving end of the decisions of both parties. For obvious reasons,
all that seems to matter to them is the attainment of their respective
degrees; and that’s quite understandable.
Oluwamuyiwa Ogunjobi writes from Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
Contact: 07036895297, firstname.lastname@example.org .