by Adedokun Seyi
With the new development, my mind is disturbed as to what the future speaks for the youth in Nigeria. Before Nnamdi Azikiwe takes final bow, he made it known that education won’t make young people to be easily enslaved, but I think something more powerful is enslaving us at will and we have been eaten up by it. In the last two elections – Ekiti and Osun states respectively, we experienced vote buying and some sort of incumbent power wielding. The old story that is always strange is that youths were the instrument of destruction at this supposed sane setting, but joblessness has made some so useful to the bow of the political demons when they are tailed with a crumby pay. On November 4, ASUU started her strike action and on November 18, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lifted the campaign ban. What do you think is the stand of Nigerian students? The Nigerian government is only ready to take us to the next level.
Since the beginning of ASUU strike, I have taken enough time to monitor the trend of duties and I almost came into conclusion that the school is only here to waste the time of students, because the attitude of some students was towards freedom of self-development and encouragement of their entrepreneurial spirit. Although, many students were not ready to take a rest when the strike was declared because some of them even went to class and waited for lecturers to come. That was enough to know that some lecturers were not aware that the strike action has been declared and some students have nothing to offer their society when they graduate, because if they do, they won’t see the action as a curse, but blessing in disguise. Everything later dissolved, and everyone retired to rest. The bone of contention here is not about the lecturers, because what would happen have happened; the other side is the activities of the youth and Nigeria’s election.
During the 70th Anniversary of the University of Ibadan on November 18, 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari, ably represented by Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President agreed that education is underfunded, not owing to the fact will there be any change, because he also raised the idea of fund raising from private bodies. Through this, one may feel the country is in penury, but several times, the country has spent more than the demand of the academic union, whereas, it has been unfortunate that since 1999, during Obasanjo regime, this strike action has been a culture and it is even getting stronger with the same agitation of implementation.
So, what about the effect of this action on students along with the general election? Since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lifted the ban, it descended to my mind that if there would be any riot or political clench, it won’t be much if there is no ASUU strike. The only focus of students would be voting which would be February 16, 2019, but now, many students are always out to work for money whenever there is a strike action and several events always come up which would catch up with some students even in the media.
Vanguard reported the mind and lamentation of some students that apart from the academic calendar disruption, the University system, which ASUU is fighting to reinvigorate, is even dying at the feet of the windy and unending strike action. Here, students have experienced a lot of backwardness ranging from bad attitude of lecturers to practical classes, use of old materials in class, lecturers’ attitude to providing materials for lectures and in some institutions, students pay huge amount to get materials for classes, and the federal government is always proud of her students with some petty excellence.
In essence, here are salient things that may happen during this ASUU strike, along with the general election in Nigeria:
More of political play: Have you seen old men very early in the morning, holding their chewing sticks and water in their hands? Most of them are always in agbada, and all they think about is going down the street to read news on the newspaper hung on the rope or held with a stone on the ground. More of these youths will be found in the same category and they would argue from morning till evening. Many of them forget to eat as soon as the argument starts.
More of brain drain: even in school, many find it difficult to assimilate when they are amidst their peers. Peer pressure has an advantage when it is driven towards making a lazy person to level up. Meanwhile, here is a period when many students find something to do. Many of them end up going partying, or they engage in some activities that will not help their education. The reason, why many students experience brain drain is not necessarily what they engage in, but the length of time which they spend in engaging themselves affects and bends their functionality, making them to forget almost all they were taught in class.
Political instrument: it has never happened at any point that old people are the machines of kidnapping, stealing and killing. More of these young ones would take the street as the election draws near. The effect on the economy is that more money would be embezzled to finance this act. As this financial wagon increases, the youthful spirit grows and becomes a different story.
And lastly: it is very common to have prostitutes and its somewhere a normal thing these days. As much as I will agree that positive dealings will evolve, it is better we end this strike within this space of time and work together for our own good.