A letter of appeal to the vice chancellor Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, on the plight of Veterinary Medical Students of The University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, as a result of the strike action embarked upon by lecturers of the faculty.
It is with every sense of responsibility to myself, my parents, my colleagues, and most importantly to God Almighty, that I write this open letter.
This is coming against the back drop of the current strike action embarked upon by the lecturers of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Nigeria Nsukka.
This industrial action occasioned by a wage disagreement between the lecturers and the administration has once again crippled academic activities and brought allied activities at the faculty to a halt, thereby further making a mockery of an already maladive situation.
Like the old saying goes “when two elephants fight, the grass suffers”, this saying is true in this case as we the students are indeed the grass that is suffering and bearing the brunt of this unfortunate disagreement between the school management and her staff.
This is coming after we have endured an excruciating six (6) month strike action occasioned by the Federal government- ASUU disagreement in 2013, July to December to be precise, making us students of Federal universities to lag behind our counterparts in private universities.
What is more worrisome in this case is that veterinary medical students are on strike while other students in the same university are going about their normal academic activities.
This has varying and dire implications on us the students. For instance, should this strike action continue, the final year students will not be mobilized along with their peers during the NYSC mobilization giving them an unsolicited and very unpalatable extra stay in school after spending 6 academic sessions in school already.
Students offering one or two non-departmental courses are forced to stay in school for just one or two courses. This is has far reaching financial implications, as most of our parents who are state civil servants have not been paid for months.
In addition, what will be our fate in veiw of the fact that according to the school calender exams are expected to star next month but we have not had any lecture this semester!
This is more painful given that the students of the faculty have fully paid their school fees but are denied their right to learn, a clear breach of contract and a total negation of the principle of Pacta sunt servanda; because by accepting the school fees of students, an agreement has being reached between the school administration and the students, and a deviation such as this constitutes a breach of contract.
Moreso, an idle mind they say is the devil’s workshop. Sir, we have been idle since the tail end of last semester till this moment. Sir we do not want the devil to tap into our reservior of exuberance, afterall we are youths and idle youths at that.
I wish to use this medium to appeal to the vice chancellor as the father of this great university to wade in to this crisis and meet the demands of the striking lecturers in the overall interest of all concerned, and also in line with the school’s motto “To Restore the Dignity of Man” which is being utterly battered by face-offs such as this.
Finally on behalf of my-self and other students of the faculty we wish to reiterate that we don’t wish to spend extra time in school for a problem that is no fault of ours.
Thank you Sir.
Ozokoye, Anthony Chukwuemeka.