ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (Asuu) has vowed to ensure the 2019 general election does not distract its members as the union vows to remain resolute in its demands for improved funding of public varsities in Nigeria.

The union commenced a nationwide strike on 4 November after a meeting of its national leadership at the Federal University of Technology, Akure.

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Concise News understands that the lecturers are protesting poor funding of Nigerian Universities, the alleged plot to increase students’ fees, introduction of an education bank, as well as non-implementation of previous agreements, among other issues.

Chairman of the union at the University of Ibadan, Dr Deji Omole, made this known on Thursday while reacting to reports that the ongoing strike by lecturers might hamper smooth running of the elections.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a one-day seminar on media gender-sensitive reporting, a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) Festus Okoye had said: ”The lingering strike by Asuu will no doubt have a serious impact on the preparations for the conduct of the 2019 elections.”

But Omole told newsmen that Inec could recruit ad-hoc staff from eligible Nigerians “who are in their millions’’.

He said: “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.”