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ASUU Strike: I Now Sell Potatoes

 Christiana Pam

A lecturer on the College of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Christiana Pam, has revealed she now sells potatoes.

She says to outlive the continued strike of the Educational Employees Union of Universities (ASUU), she is now into the petty commerce of promoting potatoes.

On February 14, ASUU launched into a four-week warning strike. The union prolonged the economic motion by one other two months on March 14, to permit the federal government to satisfy all of its calls for. A 12-week extension was introduced on Could 9.

Final week, ASUU prolonged the strike by a month, vowing to persist till its calls for are met.

The strike, based on the union, was on account of the failure of the federal government to satisfy some calls for comparable to the discharge of the revitalisation funds for universities, launch of earned allowances for college lecturers, deployment of the College Transparency Accountability System for the fee of salaries and allowances of college lecturers, renegotiation

In an interview with PUNCH, Pam, whose image went viral on social media over her commerce, mentioned she acquired drained financially within the early days of the strike.

She mentioned a few of her colleagues had been envious as that they had nothing to fall again on for survival through the strike.

“When the first strike was declared, I had the assumption that within four weeks, it would be called off and we would resume. I was very hopeful and relaxed, waiting for it to be called off but after ASUU’s negotiations with the Federal Government, which didn’t end well as the demands of ASUU were obviously not met, the strike was extended. That was when it dawned on me that I needed to take a step because, within the first phase of the strike, I was already drained financially as I am new to the system and had yet to have the opportunity to save more money before the strike. So I thought of going home to Plateau State. I was so financially down that I had to borrow some money to take myself to my parents.”

“My mother and father had at all times been farmers even earlier than their retirement, so after their retirement, they continued farming. After I acquired again dwelling, I joined them on the farm with the hope that after two weeks, the strike could be known as off and I’d be again to work however in what appeared like a joke, I began with them by clearing the farm, planting and it acquired to harvesting time and I used to be nonetheless at dwelling. So, I started to marvel what I might do to earn an revenue as I couldn’t ask my retired mother and father for cash as a result of they need to be those wanting as much as me. So, I made a decision to promote among the potatoes we harvested from our farm and they might be appreciated in Akwa Ibom.

“I needed to promote a few of them in Jos to boost cash to maneuver the remaining ones to Akwa Ibom State and simply attempt my fingers and see how it will go. That was the place I used to be noticed. I imagine that you just begin with what you could have. It’s what you could have that you should utilize to your benefit. I appeared round and I requested myself what I had that I might use to maintain myself at this essential time and I found that what I had had been potatoes.

Reacting to the general public notion over the transfer, Pam mentioned it was on account of the situation she discovered herself.

“I kept telling them shamelessly that I was on a farm with my parents, so when I started selling potatoes as a lecturer, I didn’t really feel anything. I just felt it was a condition I had found myself in. My colleagues said they envied me  because I had something to sell when they did not. So, for me, I am okay with having something to do. My students even patronise me. They felt encouraged that I stooped to such a level as a lecturer when some of them were busy feeling pompous at home.”

When requested how profitable the enterprise is, Christiana mentioned she acquire about N3,00 from every bag of potatoes she bought.

Whereas hoping that the continued strike yield a optimistic consequence, she additionally name on her fellow colleagues to be artistic and discover different means to outlive.

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