Prolonged ASUP Strike: A Conspiracy By The Majority
A period of over 280 days is enough for a woman to conceive, give birth and even have the naming ceremony of the child. The foregoing scenario illustrates the number of precious hours and days that have been wasted by the students in polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria due to the ongoing ASUP strike.
As it stands, 20 federal polytechnics and several other state polytechnics are under lock and Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, has remained resolute, saying it would not call off the strike until its demands are met.
According to ASUP, Chairman, Mr. Chibuzor Asomugha, 13 issues were raised by the union, out of which government selected four, with a promise to address them urgently. The four issues include release of the White paper on Visitation to Federal Polytechnics; the completion of the constitution of the Governing Councils for federal polytechnics; the migration of the lower cadre on CONTISS 15 salary scale; and the commencement of the Needs Assessment of Nigerian polytechnics. Typical of the Nigerian government, it failed to honour the agreement it entered with the union and that has culminated into the over 9 months strike.
Not too long ago, the nation was more or less brought to a stand-still when the Universities where shut for over 7 months due to a similar act by the federal government. One thing that was not noticed then was the fact that the ASUP struggle had been on as at then.
That the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education have been playing second and third fiddle respectively to Universities in Nigeria is no longer news but the reality that the disparity is now being championed by the majority is disheartening.
Speaking on the kind of attention the ASUP strike is getting from the general public, Omotoyosi Sodiq, a student of Federal Polytechnic, Ofa lamented that “When ASUU went on strike, the whole Nigeria: rich, poor, politicians, the media, traders, business men and women, civil servants, children, artisans, celebrities and the rest joined in the fight but when it comes to the polytechnics, we have simply been left alone to fight our course.
Expressing his frustration, Sodiq asked the following questions: “What crime have we committed against the state? Have we broken any law or forfeited our fundamental rights by opting for the polytechnic? Have we not suffered enough, or does the government want the students to seek for alternative to education?”
- Have Nigerians in general been fair in their attention and contribution towards resolution of the ASUP strike?
- Are the Polytechnics not worth the attention of the majority?