We’ll assist govt to fight coronavirus, says ASUU

The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi, on Wednesday expressed the readiness of the union to assist the federal and state governments to fight coronavirus pandemic despite the ongoing national strike by its members.

Ogunyemi gave the assurance in Jos on Wednesday during an event to begin the distribution of hand sanitisers and pamphlets produced for members of the public by the University of Jos chapter of ASUU as part of its intervention programmes to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Ogunyemi said, “Today’s launch at the University of Jos is the second outing of ASUU on measures designed to support the government’s efforts at preventing and controlling the spread of this national emergency brought about by coronavirus even when the same government is using hunger as a weapon of war against its scholars and thinkers.

“At a time like this, we cannot be bogged down by issues of how successive governments have treated Nigerian universities.

“We recognise the pivotal role of education, information and communication in the prevention and control of COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is in demonstration of our belief in this strategy that ASUU has elected to set aside all other distractions to champion this intervention programmes within the limits of our resources and it is our sincere hope that it will make the desired difference in safeguarding the health of our people.”

The ASUU President, who was represented by the Bauchi Zonal Chairman of ASUU, Prof. Lawan Abubakar, also restated the union’s commitment towards ensuring that Nigerian universities were accorded their rightful pride of place

He said, “As academics, our primary concern is how to reconnect education and health which are two clear indices of human development.

“When people say health is wealth, we also insist that good health is a product of good education. What this means is that it is investment in high quality education, particularly at the tertiary level, that produces competent and efficient medical and paramedics workers who in turn will drive the health system to its highest level.

“Therefore ASUU will continue to champion this course until we learn to accord health and education the rightful places they deserve in our national priorities without which we cannot make any meaningful progress a nation.”

ASUU Chairman, University of Jos, Dr Luka Maigoro,  said the hand sanitisers and pamphlets were produced by members of the union from the Pharmacy Department of the institution as part of their contributions to assist in curtailing the spread of coronavirus.

Governor Simon Lalong, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Danladi Atu, challenged members of ASUU to come up with research findings that would provide a permanent cure for the disease.”
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