Rash of strikes and frightening future of Nigerian youth, By Auwal Ibrahim Goronyo

Posted by News Express | 9 May 2021 | 386 times

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•Mass of Nigerian youths


The #EndSARS protest which did more harm than good for the country; its pragmatic bombshell still remains and ignites fear.

Research has shown that #EndSARS protest was successful and made dreaded impact because of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) long strike at that time, because an idle man is a devil workshop (sic).

Though, strike of such nature is not a new trend in the country, but the ousted strike came with some different features because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

All the Nigerian 69 polytechnics, colleges of agriculture and colleges of education are shutting down for an indefinite strike. This means the future of Nigerian youths is heading to another misfortune. After the trauma, the poverty and the crash of hopes caused by the Coronavirus effects, another misfortune is befalling Nigerian students.

The ASUP said the strike is mandatory this time, because the governments failed to fulfill the promises they made to its members.

The Union lamented that the Federal Government and some state governments are yet to pay 10 months arrears of the new minimum wage owed to its members, and some state governments were yet to implement the new minimum wage scale to its members. Yet to implement the Needs Assessment Report of 2014 in public Polytechnics and like institutions.

The Federal Government should reconstitute governing councils in all Federal polytechnics and in state-owned polytechnics where such is yet to be constituted.

Release owed staff salaries in states like Abia, Ogun, Osun, Benue, Plateau, Edo and Cross River and implement full salary payments in Sokoto, Kaduna, Adamawa and other institutions with such reports; release of promotion arrears in Federal polytechnics and payment of same as well as annual increments in Adamawa, Plateau and other states with similar cases; withdrawal of the letter containing spurious, incoherent and unsubstantiated claims of PAYE tax liabilities in 19 Pederal polytechnics.

Ensure full implementation of the provisions of the Federal Polytechnics Act as well as its domestication in Adamawa, Kano, Sokoto, Abia, Niger, and other states affected.

Stop attempts at forcing ASUP members from colleges of agriculture out of the Union.

Implement the 65 years retirement age for academic staff in state-owned institutions like in Kano, Kaduna and other institutions in the country.

Workers strike in Nigeria has become the only antidote for them to claim what is their own. Workers prefer the work-no-pay method to wage their grievances, and it seems to be a win for Nigerian government. If government will continue to allow strikes to take effect before arresting it, Nigerians will perceive another motif by government. People will look at it as another lucrative revenue venture for government to tap some money from its workers.

Just recently, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) suspended its strike, while the ASUU strike lasted nine months.

Meanwhile, Judiciary workers, under the aegis of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), have declared an indefinite nationwide strike to press home their demands for financial autonomy of the judiciary, starting from Tuesday April, 6.

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) is also on strike, demanding for better work facilities and the welfare of its members while the indigent Nigerians are dying at home. The strike by NARD represents almost 40 per cent of Nigeria’s doctors at this time of Coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic is still ravaging the good future of Nigerian youths. It has brought a sluggish progress in JAMB Examination, school admission, and National Youth Service Corps’ programme.

And, at his time of insecurity, we should remember that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop just as psychologists say that an emotional trauma is the mother of all crimes.

The picture of Nigerian education is daunted with many faults for students. Therefore, the ASUP strike is another time-bomb that may distort the future of Nigerian polytechnic students. Nevertheless, to save the country from many faults, it is a good advice for the government at all level to have done everything possible to stop the now two-week-old ASUP strike, because one match-stick can set a whole village ablaze. Besides, a hungry man is an angry man; just like a devastated person is a mad man as demonstrated during the hijacked October 2020 #EndSARS protest, which should be a lesson to all while the experience is still fresh on our minds.

Goronyo, moderator, World Literary Forum for Peace and Human Rights, Bhutan, writes from Kaduna, and can be reached on: auwalgoronyo@gmail.com

Source: News Express

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