By Adeyemi Olalemi
As the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) industrial action enters the eleventh week, the University of Lagos main campus- Akoka has totally changed from what is used to be when the school is in session, it is now as silence as a grave yard, looking like a desolate ground, a complete shadow of itself.
It is interesting to note that the university which is expected to show class in research and learning has taken a break from her core goals, students sit back at home, few lecturers are seen in the school while some just stay in their offices with little or no motivation, and some preferred to stay at home.
A visit to the Akoka campus, sighted close to the bank of the Lagos lagoon during session and then another visit to the same campus now, will leave one with myriad of questions such as “where the 8 o’ clock morning lectures are, the beautiful campus girls with skinny jeans, spaghetti tops, dangling ear rings, cosmetic bags and a pair of higher education notes.
One imagines how come the campus has become so scanty, no sight of the ‘sagging’ students of the university with “pencil jeans” of all kinds and with the popular ‘galas’ haircut.
The daily long queue for cabs at the faculty of education has suddenly disappeared; the different colourful and stylish dresses that usually turn the cab park to a fashion ground are no more. No more daily row between cab operators and students as cab operators now park their vehicles with frustrated looks on their faces considering the reduction in their daily earnings caused by the ASUU strike.
The ever crowded New Hall, due to the five hostels and supermarkets situated at that axis is now as quiet as a GRA. Classes and many offices are under locks and keys, the ever busy double-lane campus road, now witness fewer vehicular movement. The Unilag security men now do less work in enforcing law and order as no one is around to break the laws, no more night for “two’s” at the Access bank fences and veranda.
The Unilag senate building, adjudged to be the biggest senate house in any Nigeria University with eleven floors, no longer receives large number of visitors as it used to, these further validate the reason for installing fire extinguishing gadget in the building which requires less movement of people in and around the building during installation.
It’s amazing to realize that the liveliest and most bubbling Akoka campus of the University of Lagos due to the civilisation and its location at the centre of excellence is currently the most boring site in Lagos right now.
No more night clubbers and Aristos trooping in and out of the campus. Few students in the hostels cited writing of their projects as justification for staying on campus while some simply say “home is boring” and console themselves that school is still better than staying at home. No doubt, the ASUU strike has paralysed many activities on our campuses, rendered people idle as many students have lost motivation for reading because of the indefinite nature of the strike. With all these analyses, it is clear that learning, research, productivity and economic activities have been shut down for more than two months due to the strike.
This is the present state of the University of First Choice and Nation’s pride-Unilag after a prolonged strike by ASUU.
As we wait in optimism to an end to this impasse between ASUU and the Federal Government; it is hoped that fellow students would make judicious use of their inevitable stay at home.
Information is key to liberation