ASUU: Use online refrendum to decide by Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde


BY DR ALIYU U. TILDE, OCTOBER 10, 2022 | 08:19 PM

Where numbers are large and technology is limited, representation is inevitable, as the world has been operating before the 21st Century. However, the Internet today has provided excellent platforms for promoting internal democracy.

With the debut of ICT, decisions involving the lives of thousands of people can be fully democratised, giving every member a voice, even if the members are in millions, all done within a short time.

Given the untold hardships which the ASUU strike has visited on families and businesses (especially farming) of its members and the implications of violating the Court order on the Union’s reputation and possibly its future too, my humble view is: the abundant ICT experts among its students and members should organize an immediate online referendum on the next steps to be taken, especially on whether to resume work or not.

To keep a situation where few members, representatives as they are though at various levels of the Union, rule for all others on their basic survival may not be the best democratic practice in the 21st Century, unlike before. Worse still is relying on the advice of an activist, comfortable and flamboyant lawyer. Zuwa da kai, ya fi sako.

ASUU can conduct an online, secret ballot referendum instantly and give every member the chance, within a window of, say, 6 hours to express his or her mind by a YES or NO vote. The proposition could be that “members resume work in obedience to the Court order while ASUU continuous fighting for the cause in the following days and months”.

The Refrendum should be transparent and independent and the majority vote should be respected.

All future resolutions of ASUU at national and local levels can use a transparent, secret ballot, online referendum method. It’s easy and cost free.

I give this suggestion because I have noticed that among the lecturers I know those favouring resumption even before now are the majority. And many, especially the old among them, are not comfortable with a no-end-in-view strike. There may be many others like them among lecturers nationwide. They need to be heard.

I believe ASUU is for democracy. ICT is a friend of democracy, progressive, transparent, not pro-establishment or capitalist. ASUU should welcome it as a friend.

I hope this important suggestion is not coming late. I wanted it to come earlier in a more elaborate article of reforming tertiary education in Nigeria which time has not permitted me the chance to write yet.

Remain blessed.

Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde 10 October 2022

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