It is a principle of law that the welfare of the people is the supreme law. This piece is not to cast aspersions on any individual or groups but rather to tackle the catastrophic menace which has eaten deep into every sector of the country. Constitutionally and conventionally, the populace remains the most important segment of every society, therefore every decision or action affects the populace either directly or indirectly.
The Nigerian society of today has turned into a place where individuals or groups who are opportune to be in position of power whether in government,unions etc tend to use such power to fuel their lusts without making recourse or reference to the most fundamental doctrine of leadership which is to serve the interest of the populace.
Hence, the people are at the receiving end of every hardship that flows from the ruling class which are the minorities.
I will narrow down this discussion and my case study will be on a trade union – Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). A trade union is a pressure group whose main objective is to fight for the interest of its members. ASUU has become the most popular union in the country this year as the strike embarked by her members on July 1st is now approaching the fifth month.
After meeting with Mr President two weeks ago, the issue of negotiation has been brought to an end, furthermore from the outcome of all ASUU congresses held across the Nation, a resolution was reached that the strike should be called off.
The question on the lips of every Nigerian student remains thus, why is the strike still on?
The reason why the strike is yet to end is beyond the comprehension of Nigerian students. The excuse for the continuation of the strike is the demise of ASUU's former president Prof Festus Iyayi who met his untimely death on his way to ASUU NEC meeting at Bayero University Kano. This frustrating event has frustrated millions of Nigerian students. We deeply sympathize with the family of the iconic professor and the entire ASUU family for this great lost but however it is painful to know that the vast majority of Nigerian students are not involved in this mourning session because from opinion drawn from students, they are not happy with the decision of ASUU to mourn for too long thereby placing the interest of one person in utmost priority over millions of students who are being delayed from achieving their dreams. Some students have passed away during this strike but nobody altered a word.
Well I guess some people are more equal than others, like I earlier mentioned we regret the death of Prof Iyayi but it was stated in the bible when Jesus said let the dead bury the dead, this should not be used as a yard stick to torture Nigerian students emotionally or otherwise. Due to the unions silence or better still inadequate disposition of information, people found it fun to deceive innocent students with false and fake news about ASUU NEC meeting. ASUU should honour the late Prof by calling off the strike and also create an avenue for students to join mourn this icon of the 21st century.
Finally from the look of things ASUU in one way or the other have the interest of the students at heart in clamouring for an improved learning condition which entails infrastructural development. But technically all the aforementioned only affects we student’s pockets indirectly, as the infrastructural development will be enjoyed by both students and lecturers and most often than not, students will not have enough opportunity to access what was made available for their use. If this struggle is really for the interest and benefit of students as claimed, there should be a provision to affect students more directly and this can be made possible by reducing our school fees, at least the schools will not need the sums of money paid by students in the name of development levies.
To submit it will be pertinent to briefly identify the issue of trust as regard the 1.5trn to be released by the Federal government in five years and 200bn to be released installmentally every year in the space of five years, just like how ASUU have the fear in trusting the Federal government, that's the same way Nigerian students lacks confidence and trust in the university management to utilise the money for what its meant for. Its better we give all parties the benefit of doubt and allow time decide.
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