ASUU has called off its strike. The strike will predictably be spun as a success but in reality it was a failure.

ASUU won a few modest concessions, but most of them were in the form of government promises. We know how these promises usually turn out. The government reneges on them, leading to another strike, and another poorly implemented “agreement.” And on and on it goes in a rinse and repeat cycle that torments and shortchanges students and their parents.

What’s more, the latest “resolution” does not break any new ground and is largely premised on the old MOU and entitlements enshrined therein. The strike essentially reaffirmed the status quo.

What this means is that ASUU has not achieved much from the strike and merely cut its losses when it realized that it had no leverage and was losing the PR battle in the public domain.

Speaking of losing support, ASUU loses a large slice of public opinion with each strike.

It shouldn’t be so because, all things considered, ASUU has been a net benefit to the Nigerian university sector.

The problem is that it is a union moored to an outdated method of struggle, rigidly unwilling to acknowledge the limitations and diminished public appeal of its actions and rhetoric.

For good or bad, most Nigerians now blame strikes as much as they blame the government inaction for the problems in Nigerian universities. They no longer see strikes as a solution but as part of the problem.

More tellingly, most Nigerians consider lecturers to be self-absorbed, tone-deaf, insensitive, and navel-gazing operatives who are incapable of seeing how they have become part of the problem and how they’ve become the primary culprits for the absence of moral and instructional accountability and the decline of academic quality control in the system.

Unless lecturers look inward, become self-critical, and begin to live up to their familiar rhetoric of trying to rescue a comatose university system, they will continue to lose public support and will eventually become irreverent objects of scorn with no moral sway and only the power to blackmail and take hostages–the hostages being students.

Where is ASUU when Nigerians discuss the problems of poor and non-existent teaching; rampant sexual harassment; poor supervision and mentorship; corruption and ethical violations; plagiarism; a flawed academic staff recruitment process; lax and politicized academic staff promotion requirements; the absence of merit pay for productive and exemplary lecturers; tyranny towards students; and pedagogical poverty?

Not only is ASUU usually missing from and uninterested in such discussions, it usually supports and provides refuge for its members accused of failing in these areas. The union is happy to be an incubator and rewarder of mediocrity and nonchalance among its members.

And yet, to many neutrals in the perennial struggle between government and ASUU, the aforementioned issues, for which lecturers are culpable and which are directly within their purview, are as responsible for the decline of University education in Nigeria as the funding and infrastructure issues often privileged in ASUU propaganda.

If you ask the question of why standards are falling, research quality and quantity declining, and graduates getting worse even as ASUU has “won” significant salary and funding increases over the last three decades, ASUU deflects by blaming the poor quality of admitted students; that is when its goons are not attacking you for daring to pose such a “sacrilegious” question. ASUU never takes responsibility.

It is no longer enough for ASUU people to deflect these issues by saying that these are policy and governance issues under the remit of government and universities management and that ASUU is a trade union that is only concerned with the pecuniary interests and institutional comforts of its members.

If that claim is true then why does ASUU preface and bookend its statements and rhetorical expressions with the claim that it is fighting to save the university system for the benefits of everyone—students, parents, and society?

ASUU cannot have it both ways. If they’re only a trade union then they should stop assaulting us with claims of caring about and trying to save our universities from ruin.

ASUU people cannot insist on being judged as a trade union with a members-focused mandate when matters of ethics, abuses, and dereliction of duties are mentioned but then turn around, when they desire support for their strike, to claim that they are fighting for all stakeholders and trying to save the university.

If they’re truly concerned about the salvation of our universities, they have to start addressing the failings of their members and commit to helping to hold failing and erring members accountable.

Only then will they win back the support of Nigerians who have become disillusioned with ASUU’s rhetorical claims and its increasingly counterproductive and fruitless industrial actions.

Professor Ochonu of University of Vanderbilt writes from USA.
https://newissuesmagazine.com.ng/
Do you like NewIssues, Abuja's articles? Follow on social!
No Comments
Comments to: ASUU Strike was a Failure, By Professor Moses Ochonu

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Attach images - Only PNG, JPG, JPEG and GIF are supported.

Good Reads

Worlwide

Bandits have levied some communities in Shiroro Council of Niger State N5 million monthly to avoid being attacked. Against the usual kidnapping for ransom, the audacious bandits reportedly demanded N5 million from Iburo, Gandu, Dnasa, Pyegbere, Dnasapa, Jhazhayidna, Goffan A and B, Chukuba and Galapy communities to be spared from attacks. A source in Shiroro […]
By George Onmonya Daniel Over the years, reports from WAEC, NECO and JAMB coming out of Zamfara State have been that of complete embarrassment in which in the whole state sometimes only five secondary school students are reported to have passed with five credits in NECO and WAEC or are able to get the cut […]
Two suspected young men have been arrested for allegedly killing and removing the vagina of a little girl for the purpose of ritual in Bauchi State. They confessed to committing the dastardly act because of N500,000. The suspects, Abdulkadir Wada and Adamu Abdulrauf, said in an audio clip obtained by PRNigeria, while being interrogated by […]
By Uri Jones Mark Zuckerberg & Jack Dorsey of Facebook & Twitter respectively, must choose whether they are a platform that promotes freedom of speech or one that limits it. In striving to portray social responsibility there should be no conflicts of interests when it comes to freedom of speech…Honestly, jaw dropping to some hypocritically […]
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent “an urgent complaint to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention over the arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment of journalist Omoyele Sowore and four other activists simply for peacefully exercising their human rights.” SERAP said: “The Working Group should request the Nigerian authorities to withdraw […]
By Nicholas BostonCity University of New York Among the hundreds of thousands of patriots that Poland celebrates for serving in the resistance movement in World War Two there is one black, Nigeria-born man. Jazz musician August Agboola Browne was in his forties, and had been in Poland for 17 years, when he joined the struggle […]
Suspected Islamist militants have attacked two villages in Niger, killing at least 56 people, according to Reuters news agency. Over 20 others were also injured by the attacks on Zaroumdareye and Tchombangou, near Niger’s border with Mali. There have been several recent violent incidents in Africa’s Sahel region, carried out by militant groups. France said […]
By Paul Mumeh Former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark has urged the federal government to strive hard to reverse the negative perception of Nigerians toward it by responding positively to the yearnings and aspirations of the citizens in the New Year. Senator Mark in a goodwill message to Nigerians marking the New Year […]
A new era has begun for the United Kingdom after it completed its formal separation from the European Union. The UK stopped following EU rules at 23:00 GMT, as replacement arrangements for travel, trade, immigration and security co-operation came into force. Boris Johnson said the UK had “freedom in our hands” and the ability to […]
Matthew Kukah, bishop of Sokoto Catholic diocese, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of nepotism. Before now President Muhammadu Buhari and other notable dignitaries said the same. In his Christmas message on Friday, the bishop said there could have been a coup if a non-northern Muslim president does a fraction of what Buhari did. He accused […]
By George Onmonya Daniel Governor Masari of Katsina told newsmen that Miyetti Allah leaders were the facilitators and negotiators who are instrumental in negotiating the release of abducted secondary school students from Kankara in Katsina State. He said this in the Government House, Katsina, as he address newsmen after news of the release of the […]
Katsina state government source has confirmed to NEWISSUES that the students kidnapped in a boarding school in Kankara town have been released by the abductors. Governor Masari of Katsina State have also confirmed that the kidnapped students have been released. He earlier told Arise Television that he was sure the people his people were negotiating […]
Doubts over Islamist extremists’ involvement in abduction of more than 300 students last week Parents gather at the Government Science school after gunmen abducted the students in Kankara. Photograph: Afolabi Sotunde/ReutersJason Burke and Isaac Abrak in Abuja. The leader of Boko Haram, the Islamist extremist group that abducted hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria six years ago, has claimed responsibility for […]
By Isa Gusau Says Zulum combines talent and character The national leader of APC and former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu visited Governor Babagana Umara Zulum in Maiduguri on Monday, with call on the Nigerian military to change their strategy. “We have been on this (boko haram) for sometime, We have seen the […]
By Isa Gusua … Inspects 350 houses, others at Ngoshe, Warabe, Pulka Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, used the whole of Monday for humanitarian activities in Ngoshe, Warabe and Pulka, all in Gwoza Local Government Area of Southern Borno. At Ngoshe, Zulum supervised distribution of food items and N24m in cash to 1,200 […]
By George Onmonya Daniel The entertainment industry can be as cruel as it is rewarding. The cruelest of it all is putting an individual at the top and suddenly that individual finds him or herself sinking into the bottomless pit of oblivion, broke without money. The Big Brother show is the biggest entertainment show in […]
Fugitive ex-Pension Boss, Alhaji Abdulraheed Maina, has been arrested in Niger Republic by operatives of the Nigerian Intellihence Service. Mr. Maina who was supposed to appear in court where he is facing several charges of money laundering suddenly disappeared, making the court to detain Senator Ali Ndume who surety his bail. Economic and Financial Crime […]
By George Onmonya Daniel Outraged Nigerians blast President Buhari after his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, released a statement on behalf of the president condemning the slaughtering of 45 rice farmers in their farms by Boko Haram. The statement below was released by Garba Shehu on behalf of President Buhari PRESIDENT BUHARI CONDEMNS AS INSANE, BOKO […]
Why do dangerous bigots like Nasir El-Rufai like to conveniently and hypocritically rail against the zoning of political offices? They are actually talking about the presidency, and what they mean is basically that when their “turn” is over, they should be allowed to keep power or at least try to keep it. One wonders why […]
Recession: SERAP asks Buhari to cut cost of governance, not public services Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari urging him “to put the country’s resources at the service of human rights, and to support the less well-off to enjoy an adequate standing of living through cutting […]
By George Onmonya Daniel Mallam Aliyu Maina, cousin to former pension boss, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, has called on the erstwhile chairman of the pension reform task team to submit himself for continuation of trial so that the current national embarrassment faced by Senator Ali Ndume is smothered before it gets out of hand. Senator Ali […]

Trending

Bandits have levied some communities in Shiroro Council of Niger State N5 million monthly to avoid being attacked. Against the usual kidnapping for ransom, the audacious bandits reportedly demanded N5 million from Iburo, Gandu, Dnasa, Pyegbere, Dnasapa, Jhazhayidna, Goffan A and B, Chukuba and Galapy communities to be spared from attacks. A source in Shiroro […]