WORRIED by the continued strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU despite the passage of a bill extending the retirement age of university professors from 65 to 70 years by the Senate, some aggrieved students have advocated the immediate dissolution of the union.
According to them, the antecedents of the union, especially reccurring disagreements with the government over certain policies, has exposed its “selfishness, un-patriotism and lack of knowledge on the most civilized and amicable approach to conflict resolution”.
Speaking with The Guardian in separate interviews, the aggrieved students unanimously demanded that federal universities, in partnership with critical stakeholders in the nation’s education industry, should henceforth commence processes that would lead to the decentralisation of the union and subsequent pass such to the National Assembly for ratification.
Solomon Abiodun Samuel, a 300-level student of the Department of Project Management Technology, Federal University of Technology, Akure, said to forestall needless strike actions in the future, ASUU should be dissolved or decentralized.
“What I understand by the functions of ASUU is that it is supposed to be an entity whereby whatever they fight for should be in the interest of the students. But unfortunately, the reverse is the case. Most of their strikes are egoistic in nature.
“ASUU should have realized that going on strike would only inflict more pains on defenceless students. They should realize that the government or ministers are not going to be affected in any way because their children are not schooling in the country,” he said.
Buttressing Solomon’s points, Adeyemi Adekunle, a 300-level student of the Department of International Studies and History, University of Benin, said ASUU should be disbanded and universities allowed to determine their fate by themselves.
“Going by their historical background on national strike, it has always been on ASUU’s interest. This is the only time I think they are looking at the interest of the students. And among their demands, the retirement age has been implemented by the Senate and the only thing left is the means of funding for universities.
“For instance, in my school, we are below average, infrastructure wise. During my admission year three years ago, the University of Benin admitted over 7,000 students and the hostels couldn’t accommodate half of the number. I had to stay in a hostel with 15 people which ought to accommodate maximum of eight people. And this tradition has continued uninterrupted for years. The school has made attempts severally but to no avail,” he said.