Anxiety as students, parents awaits outcome of ASUU, NEC meeting

    As the National Executive Council (NEC) of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) concludes its meeting, anxiety has gripped students and parents about the possible outcome.
    For the past two days, students, parents and even stakeholders’ attention were focused at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), venue of the NEC, anxiously waiting for the outcome of the crucial meeting.
    In last one month, ASUU national officers, zones and branches mobilized and sensitized members in public universities about the Federal Government failure to address their demands.
    ASUU zones and branches held press briefings and told Nigerians to hold the Federal Government responsible if after the NEC meeting, the union decides to go on strike.
    Some students and parents, who spoke to our Reporters, expressed fear about what might be the outcome of ASUU NEC meeting.
    ASUU national President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, would today (Monday) address newsmen on the outcome of the NEC meeting.
    A 300 level student of Sociology, University of Abuja, Cecelia Eke, shouted, “not again please!. I have spent extra years in school due to incessant ASUU strike, in addition to COVID-19 “wahala” that disrupted our academic calendar in 2020.
    Cecelia added: “One of my course mate was forced to withdraw from our school to start a fresh programme in one of the private universities after the COVID-19 lockdown and ASUU strike that started before then.
    A parent, Daniel Ayu, whose son is studying at University of Nigeria (UNN) said he’s closely monitoring the situation and won’t hesitate to withdraw his son from the school and enrol him in a private university to start afresh.
    He appealed to ASUU NEC not to consider the option of strike as it will have more devastating effect on the academic programme, and students would suffer delayed and disrupted academic programme.
    Joshua Okechukwu, who is studying Electrical/Electronics Engineering at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), said he expects ASUU to resolve the issues they have with the government without embarking on strike.
    Okechukwu, who said the strike would become a major drawback in his academic pursuit, noted that another strike would complicate the already distorted academic calendar.
    His mother, Mrs. Ngozi Ugwu, also said she would want ASUU to adopt other tactics in dealing with government insisting that there are other possible ways to get the attention of government without dragging the students and parents into it.
    A student of Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo,Ebonyi State, Miss Precious Ndubuisi, accused ASUU of destroying the nation’s education sector through incessant industrial actions.
    Ndubuisi, a final year student of Mass Communication lamented that their academic calendar had been severally disrupted by previous ASUU strikes.
    A parent, Mr. Joseph Unah, said there was need for the government to fine permanent solution to the incessant ASUU strikes.
    “While I call on ASUU to shelve their planned strike action, I also appeal to the government to take steps to find permanent solution to this issue of strikes for the interest of the nation’s education sector” he said.
    University students and parents in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, have begged ASUU not to embark on its planned strike.
    Expressing fears, Mrs. Roseline Gabriel, an educationist, lamented that the academic system in the country, especially in government-owned higher institutions, is worrisome.
    She added: “When I look back where we started, where we are now and where we’ll be in the future, you pity this country. If Federal Government is committed to the development of our education system, ASUU wouldn’t be complaining and threatening Nigerian students and parents with strike.”
    A final student of the Department of Guidance and Counselling, Imo State University, residing in Port Harcourt, Chidimma Goodness, expressed fears that it would prolong final year students stay in school.
    “I have been praying not to have anything that would interrupt our final year examination. If ASUU goes on strike, it would affect the time we’ll graduate and go for youth service (referring to National Youth Service Corps). I am tied of the school,’’ she stated.
    In his reaction, a student of the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Iyanda Elijah has expressed fear on the planned strike of the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), saying the strike if embarked upon will truncate his academic programmes and those of many students.
    Iyanda who is a final year student of the university said his academic sojourn has been affected by series of industrial action embarked upon by ASUU members, and thereby appealed to the Federal Government to ensure that the strike is aborted in the interest of students and parents who also suffer the effects of the strike.
    Also, a parent, Pastor Olumuyiwa Alade said the strike if embarked upon will have financial implications on him as his son who is a final year student at the Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba-Akoko will have his academic programme delayed by a year.
    Speaking with The Education Reporter, Dr. Martins Lawrence, blamed the Federal Government for allowing the strike to linger for long saying it has had negative impact on the education.
    His words, “The ASUU is expected to consider national interest at its NEC meeting and call off the strike in the interest of the students and the country.
    Another worried student in the Faculty of Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Faith Alofe, expressed concern that the outcome of ASUU NEC meeting may likely be an indefinite strike, saying that that would disrupt the whole calendar already laid out by the school for a smooth session and as well destabilize her plans.
    “I will not be able to graduate this year as planned if the strike takes longer than usual and it will draw me back on my already laid out plan for the year,’’ she stressed


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