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Amid strike, ASUU still in vanguard of coronavirus cure, says Ogunyemi

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Claims govt is yet to meaningfully engage with union

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday said despite the ongoing indefinite strike in the nation’s ivory towers, it was the vanguard for a cure to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Its national president, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, who in an exclusive interview with The Guardian, dropped the hint while reacting to the industrial action that has been on since March23,2020, stated: “Our strike does not affect participation in COVID-19 prevention and control activities. Right from the time we declared this industrial action, we gave them permission to participate in COVID-19 research. There is no state in Nigeria where we have not intervened in terms of donation of materials and production of personal protective equipment (PPEs).

“As we speak, we have many research groups coming up with ideas and proposals. Just last week, a group in Markurdi presented a ventilator that they invented in Federal University of Agriculture, Markurdi. These activities are coming up almost in every state of the federation, and we are expecting more.” He added that government was yet to respond to the concerns raised by the union.

Ogunyemi submitted that the existing interstate lockdowns were preventing ASUU from meeting with the central government.

His words: “We have not started any meaningful engagement with the Federal Government. The last thing we did was to do a letter to them conveying our rejection of the last offer they gave.

“Government has not written back to us, although they made attempt to call for a meeting, and we said there was no way people can meet in Abuja because of the lockdown. We hope that as soon as the environment permits, we shall meet and sort out issues.”


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