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Student frustrated by ASUU strike uses his savings to travel and continue his education in Togo

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An undergraduate, Lukman Yusuf Alabi has abandoned his studies in Nigeria and moved to Togo to resume school because he could no longer wait for the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike to end.

The 24-year-old used his savings to travel and enroll into a Togolese university, a move which he said was the toughest decision.

Lukman was in 300 level studying insurance at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria but due to the ASUU strike which has lasted 7 months, he quit the program.

He gained admission to study economics at Institute of Advanced Study of International and Strategic Relations, Lome, Togo. (Iheris university).

In a post on his LinkedIn page, recalled some past struggles with hi academics which includes writing JAMB exams thrice.

According to the young man, he finished secondary school in 2014 but had to watch painfully people with lower scores in their JAMB get admitted. But he eventually gave up on the Nigerian educational system as the current strike was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

In his words; ‘‘Last week I made the toughest decision of my lifetime. But before I tell you what that decision was, let me give you a brief background of the story.

I graduated from secondary school in the year 2014 with high hopes of getting into the dream university of most young Nigerians who grew up in the Northern parts of the country (Ahmadu Bello University).

My infantile mentality robbed me the understanding of reality in Nigeria’s educational system. I had to deal with the pain of seeing other students with lower scores than mine get admitted.

Nevertheless, I didn’t give up, I kept pushing, I took a leap of fate by taking my 3rd Jamb examination in the city my dream institution was located (ABU Zaria). I visited the university after my exams, and when asked by students about my identity, I told them I was an incoming student.

As fate had it, I got admitted into the university to study Insurance in 2018/2019. My entrance into the university was graced with Industrial strike by the Academic Staff Union and unfortunately I have experienced two more industrial strike actions by ASUU during my university days, thereby losing two academic sessions within a space of 4 years.

For many Nigerian students, this uncertainty of the future has caused a new type of frustration hindering our ability to make plans strategically. Many had lost valuable opportunities, others have dropped out. That’s the sad fate of thousands of Nigerian students in public universities and there seems to be no hope in sight.

It’s with deep sense of pain, courage and hope intertwined that I made the decision to transfer to Iheris university in Lome (Togo) to complete my University education. (My choice of university and decision to travel out of the country was a combination of factors including Quality, Accreditation and cost).

I feel sad that I will have to leave my lecturers with whom we have built solid relationships, My friends with whom we have unfadable memories, the environment which I call home. I am leaving everything behind, just to battle the feeling of stagnation, the frustration and the fear that comes with uncertainties.

It’s also painful to watch Nigeria’s minister of Education mention on public TV that there was nothing bad In traveling to another nation for higher education studies even when the Universities at home are in terrible conditions. I feel sad, and I really hope that all these ends soon so that I, you and Khadija can achieve our dreams.”

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