Release of Withheld Salaries: Can ASUU be More Tactical??

In the dead of the night (in this part of the world), I checked my WhatsApp, and I noticed an unusual influx of posts. It’s all about a post rated “forwarded many times” carrying a single content but different headings: Granting of approval for payment of our withheld salaries but with a condition of signing a document stopping such waiver award in the future. And this made me laugh. I will come back to why I so laughed.  I want to be as straightforward as possible.

Government shenanigans should not drive ASUU and its members to forget their power –  knowledge, wisdom and intellect. The Union’s ability to survive the antics and tricks laid and that will continue to be laid by the government depends solidly on the extent to which we decide to utilize such power. 

Plainly, the ASUU-FG struggle can never be won by a YES OR NO approach. It’s much more than that. In a literal sense, I mean to say that there are millions of answers between YES and NO in any complex struggle like this. Mathematically, the struggle is more like continuous data rather than discrete values or whole integer scenarios. There are a variety of options in between 1 and 2.  Therefore, ASUU must try to find the best answers that suit each single prevailing condition. What am I saying? The answer to the new FG’s conditional offer cannot be best given by phrases such as – “NO, we are not accepting it; let them hold it, it’s not possible; God forbid…” These sound reactionary and less intellectual (with all due respects, please) and it will give FG a good pass/excuse they so direly needed to smash education and rubbish other entitlements, EAA, salary increment, etc.

It's worth noting that before FG released this offer, they must have pre-determined our response and even predicted our tendency. This is quite bad and unhelpful to our struggle because the struggle is like a war; one needs always to dodge the expectations and predictions of their enemy. Are we doing that?? I guess the FG has already formulated another trick for ASUU to fall into, and a full-scale war against education will be launched subsequently. We must prove them wrong by dodging and invalidating their calculation and expectations. 

The above calculation is similar to what the government applied to destroy the Islamic Movement (Shiatt). They have predetermined their reaction; therefore, they triggered them to react as such. Unfortunately, they behaved as expected, and the government leveraged on such ground to execute the planned work. 

The question is, can we challenge our brains to propose productive answers to the FG offer? Yes,  I have answers to why we should accept the offer and even influence amending it to capture the 8-month backlog without undermining our future struggle. It’s our money; we have already earned it. As such, we have every reason to collect it. I believe ASUU has the best think tank, and it's time for them to wear their thinking caps. We need not to tell the public. It is an in-house war theatre. 

I laughed because, with the deployment of novel tactics, the hand that wrote the condition is the same hand that will erase or modify it. Time will tell; let us give our power a chance to rule us, not OUR known-by-all emotional tendencies. 

The reality is that members hold the union responsible for ensuring the release of salary backlog, EAA and salary increment, and it should not fall below such expectations without compromising the continuation of our struggle. We have to balance the weight between being too hard and too smart. 

Long Live ASUU 

Struggle Continues    

Department of Soil Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria-Nigeria.
ASUU Vs Federal Government

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