I was already a lecturer in Nigeria in 1992, having got my BA in 1990.
Life was tough for academics. The profession was seen as poor even by non-academics.
The claim that academics were economically empowered is not true, as most were struggling, at times to run barber shops or meat butcheries, as two senior colleagues at Uniben were doing.
ASUU strikes have been the primary instrument that improved the living standards of lecturers.
As for Adejumo describing academics as greedy people who never have enough, unlike a person like himself who managed a smaller income than academics, everyone has their perspective on what their self-development and labour are worth in relation to their standard of living.
People who live in face-me-I-face-you housing are living. People who cannot afford cars- as much Nigerians-are living. People have to negotiate what they can afford for their children and themselves, from those whose children attend schools they chose because that is what they can afford to those who can afford anything on offer- all these people are negotiating choices.
But by the time a person invests a good part of their life in self-development through decades of specialized education and has to keep daily educating themselves on the job as well as developing others through this knowledge, such people particularly need to ask the value of what they are doing with their lives and how this value translates into the quality of life.
Right now, I’m physically exploring the very university Moyo studied in and worked in-OAU. A combination of majesty and degeneration.
The sublime natural environment and glorious buildings, but buildings badly in need of maintenance, and inconsistent management of vegetation, leading to well-kept lawns coexisting with bushes.
In my view, almost all the buildings in the staff quarters should be torn down and rebuilt. The staff quarters have the look of a ghetto.
Yet this is the university of Wole Soyinka and other great ambassadors of Nigeria.
The university bookshop has good books, but to reach them you have to pass through buckets positioned to catch water dripping from the ceiling.
In attending a funeral at the cemetery there, one observes that the place is bushy and largely unkept, yet illustrious scholars like the one whose funeral I attended yesterday are buried there.
I wonder how the academics there see themselves, living and working in an environment that in some cases looks like an abandoned space falling into ruin.
Note- I am no longer an academic and I live in Nigeria.