The ASUU Strike and the Crapious Revolution 3
“Often your most visible adversary is the least dangerous.”
The Nigerian youth as an unintended consequence, see the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Strike 2022 as the Government of Nigeria (GON) spitting and shitting all over them with contempt. When the ASUU goes on strike, academic and non-academic staff feel the pain, but the youth and students feel it much more in the present climate of “nothing nothing” to look forward to. “Nothing Nothing” – no money, nourishment, jobs, accommodation, fulfill-able aspirations respectability, or hope. The youth sense it as repression and oppression. The GON were not expecting such a development, it came as a surprise.
Getting higher education is a stubborn but admirable aspiration cum habit for Nigerians. More Nigerian youths would attend universities at home if they have the means and opportunity. We note, more than half of all Nigerians in the USA have postgraduate qualifications. It is a charity that began at home in Nigeria. How could anyone ignore or forget that? How could any government deny the youths their future and think everything will be alright?
“Go back to the farm,” politicians tell the youth. Bishop Kukah said the, “Expectations of Nigerians are too high,” including constant electricity. President Buhari even called them “Lazy Nigerian Youth.” Nigerian youths “Are not innovative,” the over-privileged patronage-enjoying entrepreneurs say. It’s so easy to blame youths without money, tools or skills, not to talk of jobs, for their precarity. The Nigerian youth is neither listening to those out-of-touch elites or the over-privileged any longer. Not at all.
Calls to action is what they are seeking to hear. The Nigeria youth want to go into some action, anything that helps their individual or collective cases. We first got a glimpse of it during the Anti-SARS protests. The continuing impact of “Nothing Nothing” on the youth should not be underestimated but it has.
The Nigerian middle-class is not growing, it is shrinking fast and so are opportunities. The response of the youth was unusual. Forming youth support groups for politicians did not help them in any significant way. Applying for jobs that had to buy forms did not get them jobs. Learning crafts and trades by even graduates did not create demand, thus no incomes. Some Nigerian youths are so frustrated they believe education is a scam. Other youths are so desperate many adopt magical thinking, believing ghoulish rituals and human sacrifices will bring them wealth. However, the smarter ones have learned, education is the “Golden Fleece,” anytime.
The pressure to go to school on the everyday Nigerian youths has seen a resurgence in massive numbers and the ASUU strike informs them GON is keen to destroy their futures. The youth know ASUU and are fighting for their present and future betterment and have had enough of the deceptions of the GON. They are simmering everywhere in the land, waiting. Blowback, backlash, reaction, repercussion, consequences; they are all the same.
We suspect President Buhari can smell it and his exit is “I am tired!” Unfortunately, revolutions do not listen to excuses and there are no easy exits. Too late for that. Far too late. Concrete enabling interventions from the government people need to see.
We must not forget the impact the ASUU strike is also having on parents. It is difficult for them. And ASUU members are parents too. This reality compounds the problem. Can the GON not see it? If they do not see it or do not want to see it, it is their problem.
Tbe cintinued in The ASUU Strike and The Crapious Revolution 4.