Some parents of students in Nigerian universities have expressed concerns over the danger and implications of the prolonged Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU) strike, which has crippled academic activities for more than five months, leaving students stranded.
These parents have complained that their idleness could serve as a recipe and a breeding opportunity for politicians and criminal elements who would want to recruit them for nefarious activities. Others complain of the extra expenses spent to feed these students while they are at home, seeing as it was not planned for.
President Muhammadu Buhari has given the minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, two weeks ultimatum to resolve the issues surrounding the strike, however, while waiting for the two weeks to elapse, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) during the just concluded nationwide protest, insisted that the federal government must meet all the unions’ demands.
NLC and the university based unions of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigeria University (SSANU), Non-Academic Union of Allied and Education Institutions (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) had with one voice ( “People United Cannot Be Defeated”) maintained a no shifting ground on the strike, until the federal government meets their demands.
ASUU national president, Emmanuel Osodeke, during the mega rally in Abuja, even insisted that the union was ready to remain in strike for two years, should the government fail to meet their demands.
While expressing hopes on a fruitful outcome of the ultimatum given by the president, the parents reminded Nigerians that keeping their children at home, while election campaign is at hand, could pose a security threat due to how politicians in this clime use youths as political thugs.
Re- echoing the popular axiom “An idle man is a devil’s workshop”, a parent of two students of university of Ibadan, Mr Femi Adeyemi told us that he can’t imagine why Nigeria’s tertiary education sector will suffer such a setback in the 21st century.
“The strike is a setback to our education system that I can’t even imagine, it’s painful for those of us who can’t afford expensive schools for our children. And the worst of it is the security threat that comes with their idleness at home. What if politicians recruit them as thugs for upcoming election? So let the government find a way to resolve this university strike once and for all,” Mr Adeyemi said.
Another parent of a student of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Mr Adamu Abubakar said he was very disappointed with the way federal government let the strike to linger longer than usual.
Abubakar said,” I don’t think government has the will to end this strike but my pain is our children could end up doing what we don’t want if the strike persists.”