#BounceExclusive: UNILAG Jambites Suffer As Unions Resume Strike
"Is this how they used to do?
"Are we also going to be suffering like this because we cannot afford private university fees?
"We are just starting and it seems we will spend more than 4 years in this school."
Frustration was written all over their faces. They kept asking these questions expecting explanations to follow. All they got was silence.
They had come for screening on Monday December 4, 2017 as they seek admission into the prestigious University of Lagos.
The process had began and was going smoothly before it was suddenly cut short. There was an order to the officials conducting the screening to stop with immediate effect.
They complied and the students, most of whom are teenagers, were left in limbo.
“What is going on?” they asked eachother. “Why did they stop?”
While they were seeking for answers, another shocker happened – they were chased out of the venue - all of them.
These young ones are not used to the strike system. They felt betrayed and abused. Some only hear about strikes in the news or somewhere else, but here they have become first-hand victims of such proclamations.
Three unions - Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) commenced strike on Monday over the sharing formula adopted to split N23 billion paid by the federal government.
The three unions were believed to have gotten 25% of the money, while Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) got 75%.
According to the unions, federal authorities were unable to clarify the criteria for the disbursement of the sum. The unions described the sum given to them as “pittance”.
The N23 billion was part of the N220 billion the government pledged to the schools, which is an integral part of a resolution reached in September to address the last strike embarked on by unions over the non-implementation of previous agreements.
Whatever the grouse is, it is the students who are suffering.
Bounce News had a chat with Olaitan, who came for her screening on Monday.
“This is so sad, we were asked to come today for our screening, but on getting here, we were chased out like animals. They asked us to go home.
“I came all the way from Agbado Ijaiye (in Lagos), I spent over N700 to get here, and now I will spend another amount back home without anything reasonable.”
Olaitan’s condition seems better when compared to that of Uche.
She chose UNILAG during her JAMB registration because it is her dream school. All the way from Abuja, she headed to Lagos over the weekend when she learnt about the screening.
“Actually, the new admission list is not even out yet, the one that came out before was cancelled and we are still waiting for the new list.”
“But then, we were asked to come for screening and I left my parents in Abuja for Lagos last weekend. And then this morning I left my aunt’s place in Mile 2 to school, only to be told there is no more screening.
“Am not happy at all, this is not good. And now we don’t even know when they will call off the strike and resume the screening".
Left with no option they walked in groups with their heads bent in despair to the main gate. They had come in happy and rejoicing to be members of this new community.
But now they feel uncertain as Uche asked "Do they understand what we are going through? Why are they treating innocent, young people like us like this. Is it because they know we don't have any option?"
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