It's election holiday for us - Students express mixed feelings over ASUU strike suspension

It's election holiday for us - Students express mixed feelings over ASUU strike suspension

- Some students have reacted to the recent suspension of ASUU strike

- The students said though they were happy about the ASUU's decision to call off the strike, they maintained that they would not resume until after elections

- A parent who spoke with Legit.ng noted that the news brought vista of hope to many parents and students who could not afford to send their wards to private universities

Students and parents in Ondo state have expressed mixed feelings over the recent suspension of three months strike by the Academic Staff Unions of Universities (ASUU).

An investigation carried out by Legit.ng regional reporter in Akure, Oluwadamilare Moriyeke, revealed that most students prefer to be at home until after the general elections slated for February 16 and March 2.

A student of Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Elizabeth Adegunloye, however, said the deal signed by the leadership of ASUU with federal government to end the strike was a good news.

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Adegunloye, a 400 Level student of crop soil and pest management department, stated: "We are fed up of the prolonged crisis which has wasted more than ninety days out of our academic calendar. Life was boring.

"We are very happy to know that the nationwide strike is over but it has come at the wrong time when the nation is preparing for a general elections. It calls for caution everywhere and among every Nigerian."

Though she noted that the call off could not be tied to the forthcoming elections which would start on Saturday, February 16, she mentioned that many of the students registered around their campuses.

She said: "I would not say it was because of the election; it would be totally useless for federal government to think in that direction. I can say authoritatively, more than ninety-seven per cent of the students would not resume.

"Personally, I will not return to school until after the elections and many of my friends won't resume too, it is election holiday for us. In fact, my mummy is warning me vehemently against going back to school during the election for safety reasons."

Adegunloye disclosed that she would not resume until the elections are over, though she added that "I have missed a lot of lectures and all the fun peculiar to the campus life."

Similarly, a doctoral student of the University of Porthacourt, Mary Fehintola Atinlikou, described it as a great and most pleasing development, enthusing that it would enable her to round off her programme.

Atinlikou, who declared that the federal government wanted to win Nigerians' support for the elections, emphatically mentioned that the call off was politically motivated by the government, which yielded to the demands of ASUU to end the strike.

She said: "It would have been a bad sale for federal government to go for a major election when ASUU is on strike; it would have brought the government to bad spot and rubbished its achievements in the education sector.

"Aside the fact that many of the lecturers are co-opted as ad-hoc staff and returning officers by INEC across the 36 states of the Federation and FCT, the strike would also spot the priority given to education by the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari."

"Though the FG and ASUU had assured that there wouldn't be violence and pledged safety of lives and properties during the poll. I will not return, am resuming March. No student/lecturers can vote anywhere."

She added that his parents would not allow her return to campus despite the assurances by government and the university management, revealing that the plans ahead of her was much more paramount.

"No they won't. I need to be safe with my folks. I will start reading for my exams because I know that's what is next for me," she said.

While a student of Uthman dan Fodio University, Sokoto, Bankole Johnson, who expressed his excitement at the call off, declared that the decision was as a result of the election.

According to him, "More than 80 per cent of students register for their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) while they were in school. So, no doubt, about 100,000 Nigerian youths would not be able to vote this coming election.

"Even before my parents warned me against resuming to school, I had made up my mind that I won't get back to Sokoto state till after the elections, and that will be towards the middle of March. Who knows, there may be eruption of crisis and violence.

Johnson stressed that it is not safe for him and other students like him, who are schooling in places outside their tribes, to resume.

A parent who spoke with Legit.ng, Chief Amos Abanikanda, noted that the news brought vista of hope to many parents and students who could not afford to send their wards to private universities.

However, Abanikanda declared that young people are easily carried away by some unnecessary funfair and it is too risky to leave the children by indulging them to travel back to school, especially during the election period.

"It is very risky to allow the students go back to school now; ordinarily, tertiary institutions should be shut down or given break during this period so as to avert situations where some unscrupulous politicians would use the students as thugs.

"Sometime the students would not be able to resist the temptation; and even peer pressure and influence of their colleagues who are being used as thugs. I have two wards going for their final papers, to me, resumption is till after election," she said.

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that following the resolve of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday, February 7, to call off its prolonged industrial action after reaching a deal with the federal government, some Nigerian students expressed their feelings over the certainty of returning to their various schools.

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Parents advice government over ASUU strike | - on Legit TV

Source: Legit.ng

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