By; KHAMIS ISAH
Many parents and students always think that academic unions only go for strike to fight for more salary, welfare and sometimes to expose government to powerless position and ridicule.
I am not one of those persons who see academic unions as selfish unions that only fight for their entitlements and look at what belong to students with less priority.
Meanwhile, to some people, academic unions see themselves very big and think there is nothing that can be done without them, and they are always proud around to show people that they can bend government at anytime just for bragging.
Though, for me, I see them as freedom fighters that fight for the common students and the welfare of schools. I surely believe that without academic unions like Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, (ASUP) in Nigeria, polytechnic Institutions would be at a loss. Indisputably, it is like ASUP of KADPOLY was on slumber when a lawless act took place in Kaduna Polytechnic. However, does it mean that ASUP only matters to its MoU with government, because the government will dole some money to them? What about the other MoU and conditions guiding their profession and students interest or are students less important to them because they are not money? Clearly and openly, Kaduna Polytechnic had breached the Polytechnic ACT of 2019 which was an ACT fought by ASUP but stayed mute on the issue and the whole atmosphere can cause a halt in the institution that can affect students’ welfare and studies. To say the truth, what really happened was, an acting Rector of Kaduna Polytechnic, whose tenure expired in November 2021 was appointed against the Polytechnic Act and the reappointed acting rector’s tenure is expiring on the 18th May, 2022 but to show some preference on the current rector, a letter was sent to the Honourable Minister of Education for his reappointment again. Moreover, recalling the antecedent of KADPOLY strikes, which many students are not praying takes over the institution again when in 2011, the reappointment of Dr. Danjuma Isa created a long strike of six months in Kaduna Polytechnic.
Also in 2011, Kaduna Polytechnic went into strike on corruption and denial of ASUP members’ entitlement during the rectorship of Dr. Mohammed Bello Ibrahim and in 2015, Kaduna Polytechnic staff went on strike for poor state of infrastructure in the institution during the ASUP Chairmanship of Engr. Musa Ibrahim and these were just few of Kaduna Polytechnic historical strikes that dimmed the image of the institution.
Now that ASUP is adamant. So, does it mean the ASUP national body and the Kaduna Polytechnic chapter have no problem with the violation of the Act, the welfare of its students and other staff?
Or does it mean Kadpoly Acting Rector is a sacred cow? The ASUP national and the chapter chairman will surely be blamed if anything happens to Kaduna Polytechnic students and the students will never forgive them.
However, it will be good for Kaduna Polytechnic at this time to show sympathy and love to its students even for once, if truly ASUP is for the interest of its staff and students. Nevertheless, petition and complaints were written concerning Kaduna Polytechnic rectorship tussle but up to this moment, ASUP of Kaduna Polytechnic has never said a word against the impunity. As I write this, I believe it is the expectation of many parents, students and staff of Kaduna Polytechnic and for the sake of education and the work of the staff, that ASUP Kaduna Polytechnic will be expected to commit itself in what is happening in the institution for the progress of the students.
ASUP will be applauded if it extends its hands to the people concerned for a mistake not to repeat itself. As we dearly await the response of ASUP to intervene in Kaduna Polytechnic rectorship impunity, we pray for the Honourable Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu a fruitful deliberation and action that will favour the law for the goodness of Kaduna Polytechnic community and its entire students, amen. Khamis Isah was a student of Kaduna Polytechnic and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org