ASUU is on Strike Again! Tell Us Something New!
by Ikhide R. Ikheloa
Nigeria’s Academic Staff Union (ASUU) is on strike again. That is really not news, they are ALWAYS on strike; it would be news if they announced that they were going to be in the classrooms doing real work on behalf of the hapless children of the dispossessed trapped in those decaying pretend institutions euphemistically called “universities.” The abuse of other people’s children in Nigerian “universities” has been going on for a very long time. Below are two articles I wrote in 2009 about ASUU that dysfunctional body. Nothing has changed with ASUU, that bully-pantheon that has been hijacked by thugs in academic gowns.
By the way, this is not about individual members of ASUU, many of whom I admire individually as dedicated professionals. This is really about ASUU as an organization living on borrowed time and playing with our children’s future. ASUU is seriously farting its way to glorious irrelevance. Nothing demonstrates it better than the quality of its “communiqués”, “press releases” and similar articles of mediocrity that it has lovingly pasted on its pretend-website. Reading the politico-babble of ASUU (what little I can understand, such intemperate incoherence) one imagines that ASUU is still being hijacked by people called “comrades” who are under the delusion that the Soviet Union still exists and Che Guevara is writing romantic manifestos from some foxhole in Cuba. ASUU’s recommendations for solving what ails the educational system are alarming in how out of date they are. The language that ASUU employs is a throw-back to 60’s and 70’s Soviet era militancy when as youths, we wore berets, drank the cheapest beer in town (free!), and smoked anything that would light up. In those days, anyone that dared start a conversation that we didn’t like was roughed up. Nothing has changed; well, except the world. The world has changed. Listening to the histrionics of ASUU you wouldn’t know it. There is a joke that deep in Enugu’s Milliken hills there is a pre-Biafra war family that refuses to come down to the plains – until the Biafran war is over. ASUU is at war with imaginary enemies and refuses to come down from its high horse until its war with itself is over. We may have to relent and give them whatever they are asking for – gobs of useful US dollars. Maybe then they’ll teach our children and free them to go to the next step in their life – unemployed Nigerian graduates. ASUU has mastered a perverse form of bait and switch. In ASUU’s parlance it is called kidnap and blackmail: