By Faith Igbudu
Some students in Benue State have showered praises on the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, for wading into the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)/Federal Government (FG) impasse that gave way for suspension of the eight (8) months strike.
They made this known as The Voice did a vox pop among students on the suspension of ASUU strike. They said by his action, the speaker has demonstrated that he is a good leader with good intentions for the youths of Nigeria.
The Voice learnt that in the communiqué issued by ASUU to suspend the strike, it stated that the Gbajabiamila-led committee was one of the mediators that led to the suspension.
Immediate past President, National Union of Benue State Students (NUBESS), Benue State University chapter, Comrade Desmond Nande, in his reaction expressed happiness about the suspension and said a big thank you to the Speaker, House of Representatives.
“It is a good development. I am happy with the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila. He has proven that he has the youths of this country at heart. I give a big thumps up to the speaker, for coming in, the way he did.
“Personally, I was dissatisfied with the way and manner the Ministers for Labour, Chris Ngige and that of Education, Adamu Adamu, were going about this issue. Left for their utterances and actions, this strike would have lasted through out this year,” he said.
Similarly, NUBESS President, National Open University, Makurdi, Mnyimanga Tavershima, said: “My credits on suspension of the long strike that hit Nigerian universities goes to Gbajabiamila, because he has shown Nigerian students love as a parent though his children are not schooling here.
“He has proven how diplomatic he is, and how a true leader should address issues of such nature. I want to thank him for not allowing us the future leaders to become touts and hoodlums on the streets by becoming a bridge that connected ASUU and the FG in resolving the crises, thank you Mr Speaker,” he said.
Another student, Felix Saaior said: “I want to commend the FG over the suspension of the ASUU strike, most especially the Speaker of House of Representatives for his bold steps in ensuring that students go back to classes. I want to call on the President to sack the Minister of Labour because of his inability to resolve the dispute between FG and ASUU but turn to cause confusion, whenever there was a meeting between both parties.”
Dooior Orseer also appreciated the speaker saying, “my gratitude goes to Gbajabiamila for the steps he took to see that today the strike is suspended, only if the Minister of Labour was passionate about Nigerian students like the speaker, the strike won’t have come this far. I sincerely appreciate the speaker.”
Meanwhile, Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Students Joint Campus Council (NANS-JCC) Benue State, Comr. Faasema Maxwell appealed to relevant authorities to permanently address the epileptic nature of university education in Nigeria, saying the strike is over for the lecturers but the pain weighs heavy on the students.
“We expected this day before now, I am glad that both parties could find a common ground.
“The government should at this point, put in full efforts to see to the issues that ASUU raised so as to forestall similar occurences in the future. I also wish to call on ASUU to find other ways of airing their greviances as this method of incessant strike is totally damaging to the Nigerian educational system.
“During the strike which lasted for eight months, some students engaged in other ventures, it will be hard for them to pull out and resume school. Another issue is that of rent. In this already tensed economy, settling with landlords over the unaccounted for months will be hard.
A 300 level student of BSU, Abu Edache, who is studying
B.Sc Nursing Science, lamented the negative effect of the education system, saying it will only produce half baked graduates, who will be injected into the system tomorrow creating room for poor service delivery.
“Our education needs a total over haul. Students cannot learn like this. We went to school for a year, and in 2020 we had to go home for COVID-19 break while schools outside Nigeria were doing online classes and moving progressively. Now a strike of eight months has just been called off, but we in Benue state University (BSU) are not even sure of education as there may now be internal strike.
“The system is bad, who will learn effectively under this kind of educational system? What they taught you for few months, you now go home and relax over a couple of months or years, and you think it be effective?” he asked.