Students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko in Ondo State have begged the institution’s management to pull out of the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Recall that the ASUU embarked on a nationwide strike on February 14, 2022, to clamour for implementing the 2009 agreement between them and the Federal Government.
The students who condemned the five-month-long strike in an interview with CAMPUS REPORTER implored AAUA management to consider the students’ future by pulling out of the industrial action.
The President of the Sociology Department, Theophilus Tobiloba, stated that the only benefits enjoyed by the institution from the Union are the TETFUND buildings, its intervention, academic sponsors for lecturers, and grants, among others, asked the institution to take a stand of standing alone.
Tobiloba urged AAUA management to adapt the speed timing in their sessions after backing out of the strike school resumes and added that the school calendar had been bastardised.
Another student, Leo Omotayo, revealed that state universities have no business with national agitation (ASUU strike) as one of the forms that are holding the union back is UTAS, noting that most lecturers from the state are not even benefitting from the union.
Leo maintained that the ASUU strike had caused damage to students’ futures.
“The Federal Government only pays the Federal Institution while the state chapters are paid by the state government in their respective state.
“The state government is not responsive enough to call back the lecturers because they did not pay them either. The state government should be charged with the responsibility of paying as at when dues for the educational sector.”
In the same vein, Adekunle Folorunso said he felt disappointed in the system because AAUA is a state university, and this should not be happening.
He further stated that sanity should be restored to the realm of educational integrity of Adekunle Ajasin University, saying the school was among the best in Nigeria during Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s era.
Corroborating Adekunle, Phillip Anjorin, a 400-level student of Mass Communication, noted that he did not expect the strike to take long to reconsider as students were suffering the brunt of the crisis, which was contributing to societal decadence.
“I must say that the Union is fighting for the interest of Nigerian students and their well-being. It is also the only way to push the inadequacies of the Federal Government’s attention to the education sector.”
“I will be on the fence a bit because I know the benefit of this strike outcome (if successful) to AAUA. The TETFUND Intervention, a brainchild of ASUU, has contributed in more ways than one to infrastructural development in the university, and backing out at a time like this, implies that the university should not expect much from TETFUND because they don’t deserve it.
“The strike is depriving me and other students of getting out at the right time as it won’t give me a chance to set my priorities right in the labor market.”
More so, he said the institution’s management should come to a compromise with the union chapter and provide possible means that they can use as leverage in negotiating their way out of the strike and, at the same time, still be eligible for any benefit that the strike might bring up.
Similarly, Omojowo Ajosanmi Gowon narrated the sadness of spending five to six years on a course of 4 years.
“The facilities on the campus and some other mouth-watering equipment which are arguably accredited to ASUU’s struggle wouldn’t let me give a clear stance of wanting them to back out of the industrial action, staying at home for months, wouldn’t let but question the involvement of the school in the struggle.
“Ordinarily, the struggle shouldn’t have anything to do with the school considering her status as a state-owned university, but today she is deeply involved because the state government is no longer financing the school the way it should.
“The state government is ostensibly doing so anyway. Although it is the wish of an average student of the university to see the school back out of the strike, that might be almost impossible considering the backlog of salaries the state owed the teachers, this is the best avenue for them to register their grievances.
Similarly, the President of the Social Science Students Association (SOSSA), Ayodele Oluwaseyi, maintained that he felt so sad seeing many students’ hopes destroyed.
“The union should make sure that all demands are met because if all demands are not met, the strike is of no use,” he said.
“I advise that the AAUA ASUU chapter should make sure that they press more to make sure the federal government yields to their request.