HOW THE PROLONGED ASUU STRIKE HAS AFFECTED THE YOUTHS
By: Ishowo Malik
I have a friend and classmate that is no longer interested in going back to school as a result of the ongoing strike. A couple of days ago she sent a text message to me asking for an update on hopeless ASUU condition and I told her the strike remains stagnant. I added that there’s no expectation the industrial action may be called off soon. She revealed that she also asked several other people, especially politically-inclined student activists who are equally my friends on campus, but were also saying the same thing. She lamented that she is totally discouraged and no longer interested in going back to school.
However, with my own example as a student, now home-based, so many parents and families are going through untold turmoil with their sons and daughters that are idle at home as a result of the unending strike. Many of the youngsters have resorted to criminal activities which among others include drug peddling and addiction, fraud, prostitution, kidnapping, ritual killing, theft, rape, gambling, armed robbery, and other numerous vices ravaging the country at the moment.
Though, the ASUU strike might have been a blessing in disguise for some students, most especially those who already have something they are doing one way or the other. For a basic example, I have a friend who had successfully established himself into clothing business in Post Office area in Ilorin. Similarly, a friend, pushed out of the school by strike, who is currently working in a company and receiving an unexpectedly handsome income from the organization. There are several other colleagues that are currently doing different things in different places all over the country.
Apparently, the new situation appears to them as an opportunity or means to make income before resumption of academic activities, that is, for those willing to return.
Consequently, if I should also start reminiscing on how I subsequently got my little job in Ilorin, it’s not a funny story since I wasn’t prepared for it at all. I could remember vividly while seeking for Job around February till middle of May this year, how I moved here and there, just to avoid sitting at home doing virtually nothing. I evidently seek for job from one School to another even at the height of being offered peanuts but what option do I have? I think I should even be grateful to God that I eventually have somewhere to go in the early hours of the day and days of the week. And it is most important at the level because most of the responses I got from the employers was that they can not employ an undergraduate, especially someone who’s in the federal university as ASUU can call off the strike at any point in time with attendant negative effects on their business.
Though, I was extremely stressed, dismayed and demoralised when seeking for Job between February this year till the middle of May, there are several other youths like me still making tremendous and remarkable efforts to get at least a job. Where such a dream becomes intractable they gleefully embraced criminality as an indispensable option.
Therefore, I join in the call for a swift end to this collateral damage on the life of the students as well as on the nation, called ASUU strike.