- The University of Ibadan chapter of ASUU has embarked on sensitisation campaigns aimed at educating and helping the public to get rid of coronavirus
- Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, the national president of the union, made this known in Ibadan on Tuesday, March 31
- Ogunyemi said that hand sanitisers produced by the experts among members of the union from the University of Ibadan have been launched
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has assured that the government's insensitivity towards health and education as well as its lip service towards good governance would not prevent it from being socially responsible to society.
Legit.ng's regional reporter in Ibadan, Ridwan Kolawole, reports that the national president of the union, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, made the declaration on Tuesday, March 31, while launching the hand sanitisers and media campaign materials produced by the University of Ibadan branch of the union.
Professor Ogunyemi who spoke through the Ibadan zonal chairman of the union, Prof Ade Adejumo, said the inability to effectively manage and control the COVID-19 in Nigeria was a result of government’s insensibility to the education sector and public good.
Addressing journalists in a socially distancing atmosphere, the ASUU leader regretted that the Nigerian education and by extension the health sector are in comatose because of the infected people in government.
He said: “Today we are talking about coronavirus that is possing to us globally. Let us come to know that our education is now in comatose because of the viruses in human beings that we have in government."
Ogunyemi who faulted those who dismissed comments of those who blame Nigerian academics for not addressing the pandemic using their experts, asked those people to ask, “has the government-funded education?”
Professor Ogunyemi who enjoined people to keep safe, also emphasised that the pandemic does not respect low and high statuses in society.
“The new pandemic, the coronavirus, has awakened our common humanity nationally and internationally. It has suddenly dawned on us all - the rich and the poor, the high and the low that we are interconnected, and we either face our challenge in togetherness or we sink together.
"Contrary to the misconception out there that COVID-19 is “a disease of the big people”, we live in a shared community with many points of intersection – drivers and car owners, housekeepers and masters/mistresses, school teachers and parents, university students and professors, etc," he said.
Speaking on the ASUU’s demands from the federal government, Ogunyemi stated that the union has rejected the IPPIS, adding that the fears and inconsistency of the platform have been confirmed.
He said: “With the benefit of hindsight, ASUU has no regrets for rejecting IPPIS. Apart from its erosion of University Autonomy, our worst fears about the platform have been confirmed. The technical issues we raised about possible distortion, manipulation and amputation of salaries and allowances fully came to light with the forceful application of IPPIS to the payroll system in the universities in February 2020.”
Also speaking, the chairman of ASUU, University of Ibadan, Professor Ayo Akinwale, said the hand sanitisers were exclusively produced by the union making use of the experts among the members and devoid of any funding from any government or non-government organisation.
Professor Akinwale maintained that the government should do more than what is doing.
He said: “It is good that governments are promoting social distance approach to reduce contact and movement but what we now need is to address the infrastructural gap in health care delivery. There is an urgent need to address disease spread at the community level. The state governments must disinfect food market places where people will still be gathering to buy food.”
The chairman of the University of Ilorin, ASUU, (which just rejoined the national body of the union after 20 years), Professor Moyo Ajao, recalled that when China had its coronavirus challenge, the government's first point of call was the academic community noting that the opposite was the case in Nigeria.
The initiative by the University of Ibadan ASUU in conjunction with the national body of the union also produced jingles both in Yoruba and Pidgin; posters and flyers produced in three major Nigerian languages, English and Pidgin.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the United Nations (UN) released $2m to the Nigerian government to procure essential medical supplies to help contain the outbreak of pandemic coronavirus in the country.
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