It’d be recalled that the Academic Staff Union of University after series of warnings, embarked on its industrial action on the 14th of February 2022 which has caused tertiary varsity’s classrooms to be under lock and keys, barring students from accessing knowledge which they already paid for.
It is not news anymore that the Nigerian state has shown total disregard for the educational sector and that we have a system that has failed to prioritize education. This is evident in the national budget allocated to education.
It is not just worrying and saddening but a path of retrogression, that a growing country as ours would allocate less than 6 percent of national income to the educational sector.
We are in a banana republic where the oppressors, supposedly known as leaders worry about themselves and their children alone and give no damn about the educational welfare of the children of the masses, even when the constitution with which they took oath of office says under section 14(2)(b) that; “the security and WELFARE of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”.
For the avoidance of doubts, it should be known that, the government has the responsibility of seeing that there is proper and adequate education at all levels.
Section 18(3)(c),1999 CFRN makes it very clear that; “ Government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy and to this end, Government shall as when practicable provide free compulsory university education”
What do we have today? Pocket-tearing school fees to be paid by parents whom the government pay 30,000 naira as minimum wage. Is this not slavery in disguise?
We already know that the educational system is nothing to write home about, but shall we continue to fold our hands whilst the future of the Nigerian students continues to be toyed with?
For how long shall we continue to remain silent in the ugly face of oppression?, for how long shall we continue to allow the government cheat the Nigerian students by short changing their destinies with series of unnecessary delays?, shall we continue to watch whilst the oppressors take their children abroad to study and delay the education of the children of the masses?
For how long shall the Nigerian students sit back and watch their right to quality education, continually being sniffed out of them by the inefficiencies and greed of the Nigerian government through underfunding and series of strike by tertiary lecturers?
In the words of the pidgin man, ‘our mumu don do’
Yes, Nigerian students cannot at this time sit back and watch, the days ahead in the educational sector are perilous, too dreadful and not pleasing for the Nigerian students to sit back and do nothing.
Everybody failed the Nigerian students, including NANS, Nigerian studenst cannot afford to fail themselves.
Nigerian students must not be swayed by those who tell them to learn a skill or learn a hand trade or keep themselves busy with other things. Nigerian students must understand that these things are only ways of swaying them from what they should be talking about.
Nigerian students must understand that what they should be talking about is how to fight the Federal government to end the strike.
At this point, the Nigerian students must not allow the struggles of the African child on june 16 be in vain.
What must Nigerian students do?
Nigerian students must fight back, yes, Nigerian students must rally themselves to the barricade to shut down the activities of the country. They must relocate to the barricade. Classrooms are under lock and keys, the only place for them to be to ensure that their classrooms are opened is the barricade.
Of course, Nigerian students have nothing to worry about as regards being regards being at the barricade. They must understand that there is power, might and seriousness in the number they troop out.
Nigerians students must suffocate the country with their continuous stay at the barricade. The heat must be felt until the federal government does the neeful.
The federal government has shown total disregard towards the welfare of the Nigerian students and nonchalance towards the civil meetings with the striking lecturers.
Nigerian students must respond to the federal government in the language they understand, a suffocating mass action. Until then, the Nigerian government would continue to treat the Nigerian students as third class citizens.
Let me quickly assure the Nigerian students that, the battle is theirs to win.
Aluta Continua, Victoria Ascerta.
JOSEPH ALIU is a Human Rights Activist, Good Governance Advocate and the National Public Relations Officer, FundEducationCoalition. Can be reached via 09085773212, 09131704196, email@example.com