A senior lecturer at the University of Calabar (names withheld) who, like many of his colleagues, is affected by the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has resorted to driving taxi.
The strike started in February 2022 and negotiations between both the Federal Government and the ASUU have several times been deadlocked.
The senior lecturer said he had to resort to driving Bolt cab in order to escape hard times, feed his family and meet other obligations.
He does not want his name disclosed to DAILY POST, but he is the head of a renowned department in the University of Calabar.
A former President of Post Graduate Students in UNICAL and a former lecturer, Dr Anthony Bissong Attah was shocked to encounter him yesterday when he called a Bolt cab to pick him to a destination.
Hear Dr Attah in a ‘Save Our Lecturers statement:
“I had a very emotional experience today. I ordered a Bolt cab this morning to catch up with an engagement somewhere in Calabar. When the cab driver arrived to pick me up, he remarked that I look like one of his colleagues in the University.
“I do know a lot of UNICAL lecturers. This Bolt driver mentioned quite a number of my friends and people I’ve interfaced in the University.
“I shudder to note that a university don can involuntarily become a cab driver. This is not to contemplate that it’s wrong for a lecturer to be a chauffeur. No, not at all. I’m however concerned that an avoidable circumstance has pushed these lecturers into a hurriedly contrived alternative source of livelihood.
“This is so frustrating and depressing. The question is, isn’t it necessary for civil/public servants to engage in multiple streams of income? That’s a discussion for another day.
“The gamut of this discourse is the need to lend a helping hand to all our friends in the academic world who are part of the ongoing university strike. They are passing through very unaccustomed economic crises.”
According to Attah, chairman of Young Progressives Party and recently elected State chairman of IPAC, on the course of their short but emotional trip, the lecturer-turned driver, lamented and greatly regretted how he declined a chance to take a lecturing job in Finland like several of his colleagues.