By Suleiman Shehu
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday, declared that it would not be distracted by the 2019 elections in its struggle to revitalise public varsities.
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.
The Chairman of ASUU, University of Ibadan (UI), Dr Deji Omole, stated this on Thursday in an interview with newsmen in Ibadan.
Omole said that the union was ready to pursue the strike to a logical conclusion irrespective of whether there would be election or not.
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,” 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. (NAN)