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Nigerian students at the mercy of ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities strike

By
 Usmanu Danfodiyo University
Usmanu Danfodiyo University

Law students of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS) are worried by the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, which could prevent them from being mobilised for their Law School programme.
 
For final year Law students of Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS), the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike came at a wrong time. The strike has put them on a tight corner because it may jeopardise their chances of going to the Law School this year. If by the end of this month ASUU does not call of the strike, the students will have to wait for another one year before going to the Nigerian Law School.

The Law School opens in October every year and the names of students must get to the authorities at least four weeks before posting. But with no end in sight of the ASUU strike, the students are jittery because they do not want to waste a year at home doing nothing.

In a Save Our Soul (SoS), they have cried out to the management and the UDUS chapter of ASUU to consider their plight and allow them to write their second semester examination so as to be part of the students proceeding to the Law School in October.

The ASUU began an indefinite strike on July 1, to demand the implementation of the 2009 agreement with the Federal Government.

Before the strike, the university had witnessed an unsteady academic calendar. In May, a violent midnight demonstration by students protesting epileptic power supply led to the destruction of a part of the Vice-Chancellor’s residence.

The management closed the campus for more than four weeks over the strike. The incident occured a few days to the start of the second semester examination.

The campus was re-opened on June 19 and examination started five days after, before the ASUU strike disrupted the exercise.

The final year Law Students’ papers were rushed for them to meet up with the Law School admission period. When the lecturers declared indefinite strike, the students had four more papers to write. Initially, the Law students had a six-month abridged period to run their LLB programme in order to meet up with the admission into the Law School.

Six weeks into the strike, the prospect of the students of making it to the Law School seems uncertain.
To the beleaguered students, the situation is frustrating. They appealed to the university to consider their future and allow them to complete the remaining four papers.

Unlike their counterparts in the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, and the University of Lagos (UNILAG) whose examination were not affected by the strike, the students may not be mobilised for the Bar programmes, if by the first week of September, their names did not get to the Registrar of the Law School.

Mustapha Aliero, a student, wondered why the local chapter of ASUU would make “an unkind decision” not to allow them write the remaining papers. “I don’t understand the whole logic behind the stance of ASUU in this school. The UNIZIK made sacrifice for their students and UNILAG ensured that its students completed their exams before joining the strike. Why is ours different?” he querried.

Abdulkadir Monsoor said: “If we are not mobilised like our colleagues in other schools, the development may affect the performance of students in the Law School. The situation must be looked into.”

Rafat Damilola urged ASUU to call off the strike, advising the lecturers to employ other means in agitating for their demands in the interest of the students.

Will the school allow the students to finish their examination? The Dean of the Faculty, Prof M.L Ahmadu, could not be reached for comment because of his recent appointment as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor on academics.

However, there are indications that the faculty may look into the students’ case after the Ramadan fasting.

Still unsure of what may happen, the students did not leave the campus as no one knows whether they could be called on to write the papers.
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