The president of the union, Prof Abiodun Ogunyemi, says president broadcast is shallow as he failed to include not only the master plan and structures by which the government wants to ensure that the various donated relief items be properly distributed to people concerned but also the contributions made so far by some people, especially in the education sector
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said the nationwide broadcast by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday over the COVID-19 pandemic in the country was not rich enough.
The president of the union, Prof Abiodun Ogunyemi, said this in an exclusive interview with our correspondent while reacting to the broadcast.
According to him, the president broadcast is shallow as he failed to include not only the master plan and structures by which the government wants to ensure that the various donated relief items be properly distributed to people concerned but also the contributions made so far by some people, especially in the education sector including members of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to fight COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Though, still giving it to the president for acknowledging efforts of some people at the corporate and individual levels for supporting the government to contain the spread of the virus, he noted that ASUU members, for example, have to put on hold their industrial action despite being denied their welfare and salaries and joined (and still joining) forces with others to fight the deadly virus because it is a common enemy.
ASUU, apart from engaging in enlightenment campaigns and distribution of sanitisers among others to people, also engages in discussion to mobilise personnel and sponsoring scientists and researchers to come up with a solution to the problem and government can’t shy away from this aspect, among others,” he stressed.
He said ASUU believes that agents of government are aware of the roles of people in the education sector including ASUU in this fight against COVID-19 but pretend not to know.
So with this president action, he said, it means the government is likely to compound crisis the union is having with them for embarking on strike and I must say we shall all see the result after COVID-19 crisis is over.
On the extension of lock-down in Lagos, Ogun states and the federal capital territory for another two weeks, he said the president was in order in as much as he acted on the health experts’ advice.
Corona Virus, he pointed out, is a contagious disease and it is advisable that we all work together to flatten the curve once and for all so that normalcy will return and everybody will go back to work.
Ogunyemi however, faulted government on the distribution of donated foods and other relief materials to people so far, saying the exercise is awkward and non transparent enough.
According to him, local government councils should have been effectively handled such roles if truly they are government at the grassroots because they should be the ones that know who truly are poor of the poorest in every community.
“But the point is that nobody is reckoned with local government in the country again and this development is very unfortunate for us as a country,” he said.
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