By Mubarak Shu’aib
It has been far from a smooth ride for Nigerian university students and their academic staff for months now due to the marathon strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The strike has been a ridiculous one ever happening to our universities (6 months old). And this week has put forward the semblance of this current administration to the famous Don Jazzy’s song, SHAKITI BOBO, as it failed to come to terms with the union.
Whisper it quietly, but the union was right all along. At least when it came to one of their striking reason; revitalization of the universities. An inorganic chemistry professor dragged a colleague of mine for more than 10 minutes during our SIWES presentation. Reason? He said that a spectrophotometer detects the colour of the water. “There is no such spectrophotometer”, argued the professor. This is because he has probably never seen one in the university lab. The argument was later settled. By who? Lab technician (!) who came across one in a particular company during an IT supervision. Talking about the NMR machine, we have only one in the country (in ABU Zaria). This, and a wealth of other reasons, has exposed the uselessness of our universities and the need to recalibrate them.
Meanwhile, the tongue-lashing of some state universities and the jarring reply to FG on the backlogs by the chairman of ASUU have outlined the fault lines in the union’s struggle and the glaring need for pertinent media and resourceful PR.
The union is showing no signs of cracking under the FG tactic of ‘no work, no pay’, and that’s commendable. But that’s enough to signal that this current crop of leaders and retrogression are five and six. They exploit every avenue to render our institutions valueless.
The stalemates in the meetings have exposed mainly the lack of political from the education and labour ministers, who were somewhat culpable in the concession of the marathon strike.
If ASUU were to call off the strike today without coming to terms with the FG, it would be like holding up their hands to the FG and the emotion-driven students saying, ‘you were right’.
At some point, the blame game between the two parties stops being admirable and starts to look reckless. May God comes our way.
Mubarak Shu’aib writes from Hardawa Misau LGA, Bauchi State. He can be reached via email@example.com.