ASUU, Villain or Hero in yet another struggle

What exactly is wrong with us?

Market women demonstrating against ASUU! Chai!

“Ti iya nla ba gbe’ni san le, gbogbo kekeke ama gun ori eni” … (Editor’s note: When big problems put you down, smaller ones will dance Makossa on top of you )

Most don’t know what ASUU’s agitations are really about. A good percentage of our universities’ products aren’t employable. I for one, won’t employ most of them as they are presently.

A couple of years back, some of these undergraduates (now graduates) were in my shop and we got talking. They were in their final year and were busy regaling me with stories about how stressful their short thesis was going. At a point, I realised they don’t know what statistical analysis is. They don’t know how to test for the reliability and validity of their tests’ instruments. I couldn’t believe it! A final year student knows not what these are!!!

I further enquired and one said she couldn’t be bothered, she’ll just buy an old project, settle her lecturer and will get a good grade! They actually came to the shop to beautify themselves.They are not really interested in the rigours of studying. Abuja on their minds for the weekend. Some, Crest Hotel will do just fine. The boys are interested in d cutest girl in class and some online runs, they can’t be bothered either. This cast my mind back to my days in UNAD/EKSU some 12yrs ago.

My supervisor seemed to be on a mission to make Christmas impossible. I thought he was being too hard. Little did I know he was doing his job and doing us a favour. To make matters ‘worse’ an external supervisor will also quiz you on your thesis…. Even then, there were anomalies in the University’s environment. We had no functional Psychology laboratory. We had graduate Assistants lecturing final year students. (I hope my department won’t recall my certificate for this open yansh today) LOL. Handouts were sold to us. We feared our lecturers instead of respecting them. Biko,who wants to be victimised? Our lecture theaters were cramped. No public address system.

Strike today, aluta tomorrow. School re-opens and they rush us into examination hall. One or two lecturers won’t even come to class until the semester is almost over. Maybe one week to his exam, he’ll show face. I remember one lecturer, sorry graduate assistant, who had to reschedule his exam for extra five days simply because handouts (sorry monograph) weren’t ready for those who paid. So there was nothing to read for exam. Double Hian!! For some, if you like read like the world will end, infact ask for extra sheet in the exam hall, if you don’t buy their monograph, they called textbook, your C.A won’t be recorded, and that C.A you spent money to print and bind o.. I know what I write of.

As if that isn’t enough, the hostels were overcrowded. If you are unlucky to live in Osekita, Ajasin or any of these hostels, by 4.00am, some creatures that called themselves ‘Christians’ will wake you with choruses in the corridors and some have no scruples about banging your doors for morning devotion in the Common Room. For someone like me who complains, I was a bonafide sinner. Eventually when morning breaks, getting water to bathe becomes tug of war. Please don’t talk about toilet facilities, that one stinks to high heavens. Lawd haf masi!!

After all these, you are now faced with ‘akoto’ buses or the infamous ‘ejo’ to get you to campus. For those of us that were in Ado in the ’90s, before you get to school, you’ll have been covered in brown dust, that is if you escape ‘odo-eje’ bridge. Those that rented rooms off campus, we were left to the mercy of our shylock and mean landlords/landladies in their mud-cement coated houses.

After doing all these ‘amunisin’ (slavery) things, one of your results might go missing two days to Senate seating! Truth is, we were shortchanged. We deserved better! We didn’t get wholistic education. Our contemporaries in other climes were treated better. They got the real deal! We on the other hand got the short end of the stick.

Now NANS is supporting the FG! Which NANS sef? Are they not the ones I see in Jos? The ones that rig S.U. elections because of the cars the government will give them and the foreign trips they’ll enjoy? These bunch of sell-outs??? In 2003 while I served in College of Health Tech, Pankshin as an Asst. lecturer. I didn’t go to pankshin with my handouts, so I had to visit the UNIJOS library. I was excited cos a part of me think I’ll be surrounded by books with recent edition. At least the UNAD I attended had a fairly good library and updated texts then, I don’t know of now. So, you could imagine my anticipation in going to a Federal library.

Alas! the library smelled like Napoleon’s library. The books were brown and old! I couldn’t get even “An Introduction to Psychology”. I browsed and browsed the scanty shelves. Nothing!! What happened to the budgetary allocation of that school? These are the things NANS should agitate for. If this present strike by ASUU will take a year, so be it! Let the proper thing be done. Let this agitation happen once and for all! Nigerian students shouldn’t be shortchanged. Gone are the days when other countries in Africa used to attend university in Nigeria, now we run to Rep du Benin and Ghana.Very soon,we’ll go to Somalia and Afghanistan. Even where they run to in Benin isn’t recognized by NUC. Nigeria students in Ghana who come home as they like still look for students to pay to write tests for them in absentia. Don’t ask me how I know.

The market women ‘agitating’ against ASUU should actually agitate against a government that will spend billions to construct a useless City Gate in Abuja. They should agitate against mis-appropriation of funds. Two Sundays ago in Church, one of the people that took the prayer of the faithfuls, prayed that God should touch the hearts of ASUU, people chorused ‘amen’ but I didn’t. I can’t say Amen to that kind of prayer. ASUU isn’t the bad guy here.

I’ll rather lecturers to be over-paid than these dumbskulls that litter our House of Assembly and Senate. For those blackberry undergraduates, go and learn a trade! That was what I did whenever students or ASUU went on strike back then. I learnt manicure, pedicure and make-overs. Go and do something with your hands.

If nobody will employ you, go and employ yourself! This isn’t the time to start looking for money to buy new outfits when school eventually resumes.This isn’t the time for you to wear Indian/brazilian/peruvian or any other ian hair! Engineering students: go to that mechanic workshop, go get dirty!

Go and learn a T-R-A-D-E!! It won’t kill you…

#i arise.

Gloria Agbaosi. 

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