ASUU strike: How soon will the government intervene?

by Alexander O. Onukwue

One of the dilemmas facing students on Nigerian campuses where lecturers have downed tools in compliance with the ASUU strike is the duration for which the action will persist.

Like the absence of the presence since May 7, anything designated to last for an indefinite period is an invitation to uncertainty. Without a particular date in mind, students affected by the strike will have many questions on their minds at the moment as to how far to travel and to what engagements should they commit.

Should I go to the village? What about planning the wedding during this period? Or should I just go and ‘chill’ abroad?

And on the question of abroad, how much of an influence will President Buhari’s continued stay in London have on the time it will take for the Federal Government to react to and begin proceedings on getting ASUU to call off their strike?

From the visit of the media aides to Buhari last weekend, it is to be expected that the President should be gathering his things for an imminent return to the country. In his three-month absence, Prof Osinbajo has steered the affairs of state with “diligence and responsibility”, according to the Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa. But will the Acting President wait for Buhari to return before talks will begin on the ASUU matter?

Commentators and public affairs analysts have observed that the Nigerian Education sector as a whole needs a conscious and incisive revitalization, which could begin with the change of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu. The body language so far from Aso Rock is that Osinbajo may not want to change the cabinet members appointed by President Buhari in November of 2015, for reasons that have political implications.

It should not necessarily impede the Acting President from initiating preliminary consultations on the matter, but it would appear reasonable to expect that Buhari would have to come back first for the meat of the discussions to come to the plate.

So then, when is he coming back?

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