– The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says the 2019 elections will not stop its struggle to revitalise public varsities in the country
– The chairman of ASUU, University of Ibadan chapter, Deji Omole, says ASUU is not part of INEC and that the electoral commission can look elsewhere for ad-hoc staff to conduct the election
– Omole notes that what Nigerians are only interested in is credible election and not participation of lecturers The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said it is ready to pursue its ongoing strike to a logical conclusion irrespective of whether there would be general elections or not.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Yakub Mahmood, had said that the planned ASUU strike might affect the 2019 general election.
But the chairman of ASUU, University of Ibadan (UI) chapter, Deji Omole, stated on Thursday, January 3, that the union would not be distracted by the 2019 elections in its struggle to revitalise public varsities.
He added that INEC could recruit ad-hoc staff from eligible Nigerians “who are in their millions’’. “We are not part of INEC, therefore, INEC can look elsewhere for ad-hoc staff to conduct the election. “What Nigerians are only interested in is credible election and not participation of lecturers. “Even when we were not on strike, not all our members are interested in participating in the elections, because it is a voluntary thing
Whoever that feels like participating in the elections can go ahead to participate. “If you check in the letter addressed to individuals that have participated in the election in the past, the letter is addressed to individuals and not to ASUU,” the UI ASUU chairman said. He said that the demand of the union that the MoU of 2017 be implemented was sacrosanct. Omole said that once the union saw the commitment of government, the leadership would bring it back to them at chapters, where it would be taken to their congresses and redirect to national for necessary action
The UI ASUU chairman urged Nigerians to continue to put pressure on government to do the needful by investing more in funding education. He said that private education was not an alternative to public schools and called on all Nigerians to support the strike to salvage the university system in Nigeria..
Meanwhile, some undergraduate students in Nsukka, on Thursday, January 3, appealed to the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to shift grounds in order to resolve their issues. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Charles Odoko from the department of economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, urged relevant stakeholders in the country to intervene and prevail on ASUU and government to reach a compromise so that the strike would be called off. Another student, Jane Ukaegbu, of the department of political science at the University of Lagos, said that government and ASUU should consider the future of students and place that above other interests by resolving the dispute.
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