Nigerian Lives: 5 Students React To New ASUU Strike Extension

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has extended its warning strike by eight weeks following the  Federal Government’s failure to meet its demands. The initial warning strike started in February after the government refused to give in to the organisation’s demands which include deploying the University Transparency and Accountability Solution. Despite a series of meetings, both sides have failed to reach an agreement which led to the extension of the ongoing warning strike for another two months. 

Making the announcement today, March 14, 2022, ASUU President Prof Emmanuel Osodeke said, “NEC, having taken reports on the engagements of the Trustees and Principal Officers with the Government, concluded that Government had failed to satisfactorily address all the issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA) within the four-week roll-over strike period and resolved that the strike be rolled over for another eight (8) weeks to give Government more time to address all the issues in concrete terms so that our students will resume as soon as possible.”

We reached out to five Nigerian students who share their various reactions to the extension with most being frustrated and exhausted.  Here is what they had to say:

Simi, 22

I am not going to lie, it’s very annoying and frustrating. You go into school expecting to finish at a certain time but now, I can not because ASUU and Federal Government are doing whatever they are doing and it does not like its ending soon. The truth is that we are helpless and there is nothing we can do. I can not go and meet ASUU and plead with them. It is really frustrating because now, I have to make other plans. I do not want to be jobless all day. I plan to work out. I need to get my body moving so I can at least think well and read books on mental development. I am currently learning a skill in website development and design. If ASUU doesn’t call off the strike I hope to move to mobile app development.

Debbie, 18

To be honest I am still trying to process everything so I do not fall into depression. You know when you already have a plan of what you are going to do with life but you are just being held back because of a particular thing. I will probably find something to do, maybe learn a skill. I might probably work on my makeup plan. I think I will try to strategize and create a plan B because obviously, my plan A is now shaky because of the ASUU strike. Basically, my plan is to create a plan B of what I want to do in my life.  

Damilare, 20

I am really not bothered about the strike since I already have something to do. It is like a side hustle, basically, I freelance. I am a video editor and videographer so I am not really concerned about the warning strike. It just feels sad because that means I have to spend another extra month or year before I finish school. That is just the downside of it. I plan to create more value for myself, focus on what I am doing, get better at it and make more money during the strike.

Zammy, 21

It is actually very tiring because having to reactivate and deactivate the student-ship in me is stressful and draining. I want to focus on my hustle because I can not just sit at home. I have to be busy. I will focus on my video editing and get better at my videography skills. I will pick up my freelancing and continue from where I stopped. I am still getting assignments from school which I am doing on the side. I just want to focus on my hustle and improve so I have something to do when I get out of this place. I am a final year student for christ’s sake. 

David, 23

This ASUU problem is tiring and getting out of hand. When the first one occurred, my friends and I were excited. We decided to use it to prepare for the examination. This current one is crazy. For me, I have school and other stuff I am doing so that when I am done with school, I am not running up and down. I just want them to hurry up so I can graduate.

*This article is based on real-life events. Names used are mere pseudonyms to protect the identities of the individuals mentioned in the article.

Nigerian Lives is a Culture Custodian weekly series where we hear from Nigerians who share tidbits about what it’s like to live in this country. It goes up every Monday.

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