CEM REPORT, EDUCATION | The University of Calabar (UNICAL) Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have stated that no fewer than 10 of its members had died since the commencement of its strike on February 14, 2022.
According to the chapter chairman John Edor, in a statement, the passing of members will not deter it from pressing home its demands.
He explained that the deceased included five professors.
“It is not correct that 21 members of our union in the University of Calabar have lost their lives as a result of the ongoing national industrial action.
“I can confirm that we have lost about 10 of our members, but not all are professors. They are Prof. Gabriel U. Ntamu, Prof. Judith Otu, Prof. Udosen, Prof Kate Agbor, Prof Obia and other academics.
“Despite wholesome neglect and intimidation by the Federal Government, we will not give up on our demands.
“Even as the government have refused to listen to our plights and provide conducive avenue devoid of all impediments, we will continue to cope with all losses we have had regardless.
“We are aware of the hunger, intimidation or court order. We are not given up on this fight. We will take it to a logical conclusion where necessary things government ought to do are done.”
Meanwhile, the union in the Benue State University, Makurdi (ASUU-BSU) has reiterated its commitment to continue with the strike in alliance with its national body.
Although the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof Joe Iorapuu, had earlier directed the reopening of the University on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, for staff.
However, after a meeting, the union in the institution resolved that its members are committed to the actions of the national body.
“ASUU-BSU will not violate the strike directive issued by ASUU-NEC at its meeting of February 14th, 2022 at the University of Lagos.
“For purposes of records and clarity, members of ASUU-BSU will remain on strike and will not resume work with regards to the circular of 28th September 2022 issued by the Benue State University directing the reopening of the University.
“ASUU-BSU takes this decision with the highest sense of responsibility and commitment to the development of Benue State Unversity because the issues in contention have a direct impact on the University and its staff.”
The union urged the general public, parents, students and stakeholders to note, therefore, that the services of its members will not be available until issues in contention are resolved and the strike action is suspended by ASUU national.
Also, the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) has warned the Federal Government against sanctioning the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
According to the NGF Chairman Kayode Fayemi, the Federal Government should rather resolve the contentious issues in the interest of the students and Nigeria.