“I’m Leaving Everything Behind”: Student Leaves Nigeria with His Savings to School in Togo over ASUU Strike

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike of over 6 months has forced a young man to make the most difficult decision of his life to continue his studies elsewhere.

"I'm Leaving Everything Behind": Student Leaves Nigeria with His Savings to School in Togo over ASUU Strike

Lukman Yusuf Alabi, an insurance student at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, dropped out despite being in his 300 level to study economics at the Institute of Advanced Study of International and Strategic Relations in Lome, Togo. (University of Iheris)

"I'm Leaving Everything Behind": Student Leaves Nigeria with His Savings to School in Togo over ASUU Strike

The 24-year-old took to LinkedIn to share the sad news, as well as some background information.

Yusuf took the JAMB exams three times and was involved in three ASUU strikes.

After taking the JAMB exams three times, the Kaduna-based youth said he was finally admitted to study insurance at ABU Zaria for the 2018/2019 academic session.

Yusuf stated that he completed secondary school in 2014 but had to watch in agony as people with lower JAMB scores were admitted.

However, he eventually abandoned the Nigerian educational system, citing the current strike as the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“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.”

Yusuf said he painfully made the Togo switch. He expressed sadness about leaving everything behind to face the uncertainties that abound in Togo. He wrote:

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“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.”

Yusuf spent all of his savings on the trip to Togo.

Yusuf, who sponsors himself in school, revealed to Correctkid Victor Duru that he used all of his savings for the migration. He also discussed his difficulties during the migration process.

“The main challenge I encountered was internal, I felt extremely sad that I’d have to leave my university in order to progress, I felt bad that our government couldn’t save our educational system, also been the class rep in my departmental level, many of my students see me as a motivation due to my academic standing, I felt like I had let them down.

I was the president of The Ahmadu Bello University’s The investment society (TIS) and we had great plans to grow the next set of finance professionals from the north, I wanted to contest as the president of my faculty for the next session.”

He added:

“All of these thoughts were what I had to battle with. The admission process was quite seamless, I was in a strong first-class standing before the strike so I had no issues switching. In terms of finances, I took a big risk, I used up my life savings for this, but I think it’s worth it.

“And the only reason I am able to afford this myself was because I saved up some money during my internship at the World bank in the United States.”

Why did Yusuf wait so long before transferring?

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Yusuf explained that his decision to stay this long was influenced by his fear of uncertainty.

“The main reason I waited this long was because I loved my university, also I have invested a lot in building good reputation, friendships and relationships. Anytime ASUU goes on strike, I tried to remain optimistic and hopeful, i engage in taking online courses and undergoing internships.

“Last year, I made it to the world bank Treasury at Washington DC for a 3 months internship and the expectation was that I had to graduate by August – December 2023 to stand a chance of getting back for a 2 year contract at the bank, also I have numerous other opportunities which requires me to graduate at the earliest possible time.”

He added:

“I have also lost hope in Nigeria’s educational system. If ASUU calls of today, there’s still no guarantee I will graduate in 2024 because if the government doesn’t fulfill ASUU’s demand, the likelihood of a future strike is imminent. I don’t want to take another risk, My ID card says I graduated in August 2022, the fear of uncertainty was my greatest reason for transferring now.”

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