My Experience With Asuu Strike.

The description of my experience with ASUU strike and how it has affected my graduation year.

Who would have thought that by 2022, I would still be an undergraduate student? I did not see this coming. If someone had told me that by 2021, I would not have become a graduate, I would argue it over. Here I am in 2022; I do not even have hope of graduating this year. Words cannot express how delighted I was in December 2017 when I saw admission on Jamb Caps. From then, I started calculating the year I would become a graduate, even before the school confirmed my admission. The expected came in January 2018, when I saw the admission on the school portal. That gave me the relief that by 2021, I would have done with my undergraduate program. It came as a shock after the completion of my 100 level and the beginning of the 200 level second semester.

When ASUU embarked on strike in November 2018, we never saw it coming. It was barely a week after I resumed school to start 200 level that ASUU announced its indefinite strike. Since it was the first strike, I would witness it as an undergraduate student. I was confused about whether I should go back home or remain in school in the hope that the strike would not last long. My hope shattered when I stayed in school for up to a month without ASUU calling off its strike. The union held several meetings with the Federal Government without yielding a positive result. This made me give up the hope that I would become a graduate by 2021. The 2018 strike rolled over to 2019. The strike lasted for four-month. By February 2019, we were told that the universities' union and the Federal Government had come to terms. Thanks to their agreement, the strike was called off on 7th February 2019. It was a month and some weeks to the 2019 general election. Maybe that was the reason the Federal Government acceded to ASUU's demands.

Fast forward to 2020. We were able to complete the previous session in the year 2019. Thanks to the then Vice Chancellor of our prestigious university, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, that devised a students-friendly calendar. My hope of graduating in the year 2021 came back to life. Don't mind me; it is because I would have done with my 300 level in the year 2020, and by the year 2021, I would have been in my Final Year. Another surprise came in the early March of 2020 when ASUU embarked on a two-week warning strike to press home its demands and even threatened that if its demands were not met in those two-week, it would embark on an indefinite strike. Before 23rd March 2020, when the ASUU's two-week warning strike would have ended. We were met with the covid-19 pandemic, which made the Federal Government order the closure of schools. This pandemic lingered on for months and made the reopening of schools impossible.

In October 2020, after a series of persuasion by people and the protest for the reopening of schools by Nigerian students. The Federal Government ordered the partial reopening of schools. ASUU continued with its resolve of not returning to the classroom if its demands were not met. We were made to add some months after the ordering of the reopening of schools by the Federal Government. We were met with joy when ASUU announced the suspension of its 9-month-old strike in December 2020. My hope of graduating in 2021 was dashed. Considering the fact that I had not completed my 300 level. I was opportune to complete my 300 level in 2021. I hope that by 2022 I will have done with my undergraduate studies since my dream of graduating in 2021 can no longer be materialized.

Coming to 2022. ASUU embarked on another strike on 14th March 2022. In the press conference held by the President of ASUU, Professor Osodeke, he stated that the strike is total, comprehensive, and will be suffocating. We did not see through him then. All we thought was that he was making the usual threat. That his threat does not hold ground. This man means the business. We are almost six-month to strike. It does not seem that the strike will end any time soon. This is the third strike that I would have witnessed as an undergraduate student. The strike has taken close to 20 months away from me. It seems to last more than that at present. Although, now that the industrial action has gained the NLC sympathy, I hope ASUU's grievances with the FG will be resolved.

If you are aspiring to study a four years course at a public university, have it in the back of your mind that you will spend 5-6 years before you graduate. The Nigerian university system was like that some decades ago. There is no hope that the status quo will change soon. I hope the next government that will come into power will look into this and find a solution to it. We cannot continue like this! 2023 is fast approaching. By 2023, it would have taken me six years to complete a 4-year undergraduate course because there is no hope in sight for me to finish my undergraduate studies this year. Reality has dawned on me, and I have accepted it! It is good to have a dream, but one needs to know that it is not all dreams that can come to pass. It is good to prepare for any eventuality! I have learned that the hard way.

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