The Oasis Reporters
February 3, 2018
There has been a crippling but largely ignored strike currently ongoing by the Non Academic Staff Union Of Nigerian Universities. Therefore students who ought to have graduated and gone for the one year compulsory National Youth Service scheme are still around in the university campus, loitering around doing nothing.
Equally affected are the prospective fresh intakes who already have been offered admission in to various disciplines but can neither pay the acceptance fees nor feel that they are indeed living their dreams of becoming Ibadan university students.
To make life unbearable for the students, electricity and water supplies have been cut by the striking University workers and a fatigued Buhari administration has largely ignored them.
University workers have taken turns in crippling the system one after the other over perceived grievances like allowances, promotions and funding.
First it was the university teacher’s union, ASUU, and because of their academic and argumentative nature, the government was persuaded to negotiate, make feeble concessions and the strike action was temporarily suspended. Wherever they can find a free lecture theater now, they would teach and even conduct examinations, since most of the classrooms are firmly under lock and key in the recent round of strikes.
As the teacher’s union was rounding up it’s own, the medical union of Resident doctors teaching in the university hospitals and medical faculty commenced theirs.
Currently, it is the turn of the non academic staff whose attempts to lock up the hostels and turn the students away from the rooms they had legitimately paid for met with stiff resistance from the male students, angry enough that the various workers unions were frustrating them from graduating out of the system.
It was a lot easier to chase the female students away, but they’ve since learned militancy from the boys.
Currently, they are all in the campus of Ibadan Varsity. Without water and without electricity.
It is examination time, but for engineering, sports, science students, etc, their frustration is that laboratories, swimming pools and other facilities controlled by the union are inaccessible, therefore examinations that require such facilities are currently suspended.
As the workers laugh with glee over the stress and grief they are causing the already frustrated students, angry university administrators and government have pretended not to notice the strike action any more, since it has become one strike too many, no matter how legitimate their demands might be.
“Is strike action the only way to address grievances”? A stakeholder asked the question rhetorically to our Ibadan correspondent yesterday in the university campus.
Meanwhile, both old and new students of the University of Ilorin, Federal University of Ekiti, Petroleum University, Warri and Nigeria’s sprawling private but expensive universities have all resumed, registering new students and teaching old ones because they frown on academic disruptions, but rather engage in alternative dispute resolutions thereby maintaining a stable academic calendar in line with international standards to keep the doors of international academic exchanges open.