As the crucial meeting between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the federal government ended with no definite call off date in sight over the ongoing strike by the lecturers, students have taken matters into their hands and have engaged themselves in various activities to keep themselves busy and out of mischief by utilizing their various talents and gifts.
Speaking to some of them yesterday, LEADERSHIP discovered that a majority of affected students have delved into fashion and design, music, acting, marketing, modelling etc pending the official end of the strike.
Benjamin Umeojiaku, a 500 level Engineering student of the University of Abuja revealed that the strike has afforded him opportunity to focus on his fashion label. He said, ‘instead of staying idle and allowing the devil to open shop on my hands, I have focused on building my fashion line. It has kept me busy and has also been a source of income’
Damola is a budding artiste and performer. The Unibuja student told LEADERSHIP that he has devoted his free time to improving his music by investing in some studio time, performing in concerts and attending music classes.
A final year Theatre Arts student from University of Nasarawa, simply known as Rose has devoted her time to catering and ushering. She says that she made her decision when she realized that waiting on ASUU and the federal government would be like waiting for the ‘Titanic’ to come into berth.
David Iroanusi and Francis Onunkwo are students of the Faculty of Education, University of Abuja. Both have delved into the entertainment industry through modelling, acting and music. They stated that engaging themselves in an activity has helped them pass the time in a productive and creative manner. They advised fellow students to follow their lead and engage in meaningful activities. They said, ‘It is obvious that we would probably spend six years on a four year programme, its better we try our hands at other things so that we can always have a back-up plan.’
Tobi Johannes is the Editor in chief of LOL! Magazine, a campus editorial in University of Abuja. He had this to say: ‘it is said that if your ship refuses to come in, you should swim out to it. We, Nigerian students are not ready to get ourselves wet swimming to a troubled ship, we’d rather just take a train. During the period of this strike, the LOL! Team has been working hard to expand our brand. We have diversified into television through our YouTube channel.
As the strike action enters week eight, the students are united in appealing to the government and ASUU to settle their differences and bring about a definite and lasting solution to the incessant strike actions. The strike which started on the first of July is a result of non implementation of some of the resolutions of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement.
By Ugochukwu Iroka