As the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) gets ready to meet with the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) over corps member’s participation in the 2019 elections, ASUU has insisted that the ongoing strike would not be suspended except the government meets lecturers’ demands.
President of ASUU, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi in an interview with Punch said the strike, which is now in its seventh week is in the interest of the country.
Recall that ASUU has met with the Federal Government six times and none of the meetings yielded any positive result. Calls have been to ASUU, to call off the strike in the interest of the nation as this will enable final year students to start their National Youth Service Corps program and therefore participate in the 2019 general elections.
Since ASUU declared an indefinite nationwide strike on Monday, November 5, 2019, final year students who should be serving in the NYSC won’t be able to participate in the February and March general elections as ad-hoc electoral officers. This made INEC raise alarm that the ongoing strike will pose a serious threat to the conduct of the 2019 elections.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye has pleaded with ASUU to call off the strike, stating that “The national interest, the interest of our democracy and the reputation of Nigeria demand the immediate resolution of the issues that led to the strike and we so urge. It is next to impossibility for members of the NYSC to provide all the ad hoc staff needs and requirements of the commission and over 70 per cent of the ad hoc staff requirement in some states of the federation is drawn from students of federal tertiary institutions”.
The union would meet the electoral commission on Friday, January 4, 2018, to deliberate on the issue.