The Academic Staff Union of Universities says it ordered its members, who are lecturers across universities, to embark on strike during the coronavirus pandemic because there would never be a time approved for such an action.
Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, the President, Academic Staff Union of Universities, on Tuesday, also launched ASUU COVID-19 intervention in an effort to sensitise the public and check the spread of the dreaded virus at the University of Ibadan.
The intervention materials, produced by the UI branch of ASUU, comprised about 1,000 100ml of hand sanitisers. The programme included sensitisation campaign, via jingles in Pidgin and English languages; posters in three languages and hand gloves.
Ogunyemi, who was represented on the occasion by the coordinator of ASUU, UI zone, Prof. Ade Adejumo, said, “We cannot confront the challenge by bemoaning our fate. What is expected is that we join forces to do what China and other well-organised societies have done to flatten the curve.
“ASUU acknowledges that public information, education and communication are key. To demonstrate our concerns for the welfare and well-being of the Nigerian people, ASUU members nationwide shall be willing to work with medical and paramedical workers as volunteers in their public enlightenment and professional intervention initiatives.
“All branches shall explore areas of strategic collaboration with federal, state and local governments to provide support in terms of information and expert skills drawn from our members across the nation. For us in ASUU, this is not an occasion for blame game or buck passing. However, it calls for sober reflection on what we need to do differently with our health and education.”
Ogunyemi said the coronavirus crisis had exposed the country’s “naked and empty teaching hospitals” which justified its industrial action to demand revitalisation funds for public universities.
He, however, said the union would be willing to serve as volunteers nationwide in the coronavirus crisis to work with the medical and paramedical workers involved in tackling the scourge.
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