Students of Federal University Lokoja (FUL) on Monday pleaded with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) not to resume its strike until after their (varsity’s) second semester exams.
The students’ plea came on the heels of ASUU’s congress meeting on Monday, deliberating on the federal government’s alleged failure to pay its members’ salaries after resuming work on October 14 from its eight months strike.
A cross-section of the students said it would be disastrous if their exams scheduled to commence on November 14 would not hold.
Joy Abuh, a Political Science student, said her prayer was that Monday’s ASUU congress would not end up with the resumption of the suspended strike.
“It will be disastrous for us in FUL if the exams will not hold as scheduled, considering the eight months we have wasted at home. My fervent prayer is that the union will not declare any strike at the end of their meeting today in Abuja,” she said.
Another student, Adeiza Ibrahim, with the Department of Education, lamented the effects of any further strike on the Nigerian students and called for a rethink from ASUU to allow academic activities to continue while they settled their differences with the government.
“I think much damage has been done to the nation’s education system, and there should be due consideration for a turn of the new leaf because we’re talking about our future, the youths of this country,” Ms Ibrahim asserted.
Adeyemi Abubakar, a 100 Level Chemistry Education student, said “all we are begging for is for ASUU to allow us to write this examination without any hindrance.”
But Joshua Silas, FUL ASUU chairman, admitted that “we have no power of our own as a chapter to disobey our national body if it asks us to resume strike today, November 7.”
“As I speak with you, I am already in Abuja for ASUU’s congress meeting holding today. Everything will rest on the outcome of the congress,” stated Mr Silas.
He added that if ASUU resumed its suspended strike after today’s congress, “I will indeed sympathise with our students, whose timetable for the second semester exams is out and commencing Monday, November 14, with all things being equal.”