Strike Three – You’re Out!

Baseball is a sport that is not too common in this part of the world. Infact, had it not been that I’m a bit exposed to some foreign movies, I might not have known what the heading of this post meant. Just for the fun of it, ask any Nigerian University student what ‘strike’ means and you’d get the unanimous reply that it means ‘when lecturers do not go to work’.

I’ve been in school for almost 4 years now and I’ve encountered 3 major instances when the Academic Staff Union decided to go on a strike to force the Nigerian government to meet their demands.

Strike One! This came before I resumed for my freshman year. I can’t remember the exact details of that particular strike. What I remember, however, is that this strike lasted 5 months! Let me say that again in slow-mo: F-I-V-E-M-O-N-T-H-S. I was downcast. Almost depressed. My classmates in secondary school were almost through with their freshman year in the private universities they opted for by the time the strike was called off. The aftermath was a lopsided school calender with the session commencing January, instead of September the previous year.

Strike Two!! This lasted about 5 weeks and in comparison with the previous strike, this strike was highly welcome. I think this one came at the end of my sophomore year. The session was a rapid-fire, high-tension one that was chronically rushed for we students. We wrote our exams and soon as the last student dropped his pen, the strike started. Well, it didn’t exactly happen like that but the ink on our exam papers were not yet dry….okay, okay, at least you get my point. This strike afforded me the time I needed to regain my strength and get refreshed after such a tedious session. I even made a couple of bucks during that period.

Strike Three!!! ASUU and the government were soon at it again. Going at loggerheads like rival wives in a polygamous home. Again, for me, this strike was a highly welcome development. Very timely. Infact, I had been praying for it since my 1st semester. Why not? I had a research project to work on; I had a magazine publication to work on (Check my post, ”FACTOR VI”); I needed to prepare for some elective courses. But in a fast-paced semester, the time always seemed not to be enough. Well, thanks to the strike, I can work more optimally in a lower pressure environment and by the time the strike’s over, I should have gone far.

Just as a bonus, it is necessary to pass this message of solidarity to all final year students in all public universities in Nigeria: You’ve been through, Strike One, Strike Two and Strike Three, no one needs to tell you that You Are Out!!!


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