ASUP STRIKE: Buhari’s ministers are not willing to develop Nigeria, student writes
Education as we are told is the bedrock of development in any country. With sound educational institutions, a country is as good as made -as the institutions will turn out sound manpower to continue with the development of a hyper-modern society driven by well thought out ideas, policies, programmes and projects.
We were made to believe that the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams and that investment in knowledge pays the best dividends.
Reflecting on the above, the ongoing indefinite industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), and the federal government’s slow response to the issues raised by ASUP shows how a nation’s socio-economic deck is stacked against the poor and the disadvantaged.
Unarguably, trade unions do not embark on strike on a whim or use the strike to show off their strength. Strike actions are costly and disturbing, especially for workers and their families. Strikes are called as last resort to issues when all dialogues with relevant authorities fail to yield the needed result. It is quite disturbing that our government has failed to meet the demands of ASUP.
It is impossible for the academic staff to work smoothly without being paid. It is equally impossible to give out their best when their demands which may not necessarily be personal are not met.
There is no justification for the federal government to withold the wages of these staff who are working tirelessly to ensure a better future for Nigerian youths.
As if that is not enough, some unqualified persons were appointed to head some polytechnics as Rectors, an extent we can see politics playing translucently in the educational sector, else why would that be done?If not for selfish interests.
I honestly believe that President Muhammadu Buhari is not in power to inflict suffering on Nigerians and Nigeria students but it is now clear to me that some of his aides are not ready for the development of this country, rather they are interested in what they will zip off in their purses.
President Buhari cannot be so heartless to know that students are at home roaming the streets instead of gleaning knowledge in the higher institution. No, he can’t be deaf to the pleas, demands of the union and students. How can a parent pay school fees of a child for a session and the child will not learn due to the unwillingness of government to put things straight.
We have quack doctors, Nurses, charge and bail lawyers because our school system has lost its value. The industrial action embarked upon by ASUP kicked off since April,6, 2021, students are left with no choice but to go home. Some might want to use this opportunity to educate themselves through other means.
Many students have been at home hoping for the strike to be called off and when they resume eventually some would have lost passion for education. For how long can this go on in our country? We keep hoping and praying that one day all these incessant strike actions will be obliterated from our educational sector.
It is humiliating that Nigeria, the self acclaimed giant of Africa, is faced with such a challenge as this. I for one would not believe that there is no money in the country to pay academic staff when we have seen governors throw money around for home coming of a celebrity from their state.
Nothing is wrong with our country, there is enough money to pay all staff of the polytechnics. The problem is misplaced priority. We have failed to detect what to put first and what to put last. If education is key, then this industrial action should be called off and if it is not, we should stop deceiving our children and show them another way for greater tomorrow.
That notwithstanding, if nothing urgent is done to correct this human tragedy called incessant industrial action on the nation’s tertiary institutions, it has the capacity to render the efforts of the government in the time past futile.
However, ASUP should develop the judgemental skills to know when, and when not to go on strike particularly now that the federal government appears to have mastered the game, it is important also that the federal government note that its attitude toward education sector is capable of creating for our nation a future that is both morally and intellectually unacceptable at the global stage.