No lectures, no vote, some Nigerian students vow There should be no votes according to some concerned students, if the strike is not called off before the 2019 general elections.
Initially, I thought of ignoring the issue after seeing it in the social media reading: ‘no lectures, no vote’ because at the first instance, it appeared to me as purely politics. But seeing how people were busy liking the platforms, I paid good attention to it. With proper study I came to understand that it was a movement established by some Nigerian students who think they are the victims of the ongoing strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
With more investigation, it came to my knowledge that the movement is making the rounds in country mostly on the social media. There should be no votes, according to some concerned students, if the strike is not called off before the 2019 general elections.
The students, who in most cases play a vital role in every election, threatened to vote out whosoever is responsible for the delay in their studies. According to them, neither the government nor ASUU is ready to compromise. To them, the ongoing strike will not affect anybody but them.
The students, who were busy campaigning on the social media, added: “while universities in Nigeria are closed, some of the top government officials and even some lecturers’ children are studying abroad. This critically shows that the children of common Nigerians are those at the receiving end, while those of the elite and the first class citizens are saved from this mis-education,” they pointed out.
Delving more in the media, I also came across a joke which brought me to tears. This joke is from an oversea friend who asked his friend in Nigeria the meaning of strike? And the Nigerian friend replied: “It is an annual break in Nigeria when students in the universities are asked to stay at home.” The above joke led me to the writing of this piece. Why always my country? Why not other counties of the world?
Nevertheless, in order to have more insight into the students’ decision and I created a question which I forwarded to those established platforms in which I was able to join and meet other students around me. The question is this: “Do you agree with the view that ‘no lectures, no votes? If yes, why and how do you think it can help?” The responses I got led to my breaking into tears. It was very few of those students responded that they will vote, claiming that voting is mandatory to every citizen, as 90 per cent are ready to commit political apathy with the belief that their rights are violated and that this measure is the only way to express how injured they feel.
Along the way, somebody was telling me that the government will not consider anything with regards to the ASUU strike. With this, I questioned myself: “What is that ASUU want that the government wouldn’t be able to give?”
This notwithstanding, I have observed that the lecturers may have demanded a lot which the government thinks is too much and tried to reduce it.
With the above, I call on both the government and the lecturers to negotiate and please call our students back to school. If not I sense that the students are ready to endanger the upcoming elections because their movement is getting more accepted by other students with different views, more especially when they put it under that umbrella of ‘Alutalism.’
Sani is final year English student of Bauchi State University Gadau
By Umar Sani Yakubu
Can be reached at GSM/WhatsApp: 07066454240, Umar Sani Yakubu @facebook.com and firstname.lastname@example.org