Coronavirus: ASUU rallies support for FG, States

By Daniel Ayantoye

The Academic Staff Union (ASUU), has expressed willingness to partner with Government at all levels on the fight against the world’s pandemic coronvirus.

The Union’s President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, made the disclosure while flagging off ‘Intervention Materials’ for the prevention of coronavirus at the University of Ibadan today, 31st March, 2020.

The Intervention materials which was provided by ASUU, University of Ibadan (UI) chapter, included over one thousand 100ml of hand sanitisers, sensitisation jingle in Pidgin and English languages, posters in three major languages and hand gloves.

Ogunyemi, who was represented at the event by the Union’s Zonal Coordinator of Ibadan Zone, Professor Ade Adejumo stated that it’s members is willing to work with medical workers as volunteers in the area of public enlightenment.

He stressed that, public education is vital in curbing the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Flanked by the ASUU Chairpersons, University of Ilorin chapter, Professor Moyosore Ajao and his University of Ibadan counterpart, the ASUU President enjoined the Federal and State Governments to work with Nigerian scientists, researchers, epidemiologists to curb the infection.

“We cannot confront the challenge by bemoaning our fate.

“What is expected is that we join forces to do what China and other well-organised societies have done to “flatten the curve”.

“ASUU acknowledges that public information, education and communication (IEC) is key to success, backed up with access to health facilities and basic medicaments.

He also said “To demonstrate our concerns for the welfare and well-being of the Nigerian people, ASUU members nationwide shall be willing to work with medical and paramedical workers as volunteers in their public enlightenment and professional intervention initiatives.

“All our branches shall explore areas of strategic collaboration with federal, state and local governments to provide support in terms of information and expert skills drawn from our membership across the nation.
“For us in ASUU, this is not an occasion for blame game or buck passing. However, it calls for sober reflection on what we need to do differently with our health and education. We talk of our health because that holds the key to our wealth, and our education because, without it, we are going nowhere in the advancement ladder among comity of civilized nations.

According to him, “With qualitative and accessible university education, we can guarantee a storehouse of knowledge in scientists, doctors, nurses, laboratory technologists and other medical and paramedical personnel for coping with a global pandemic of the magnitude of the COVID-19. But it appears our universities have no place in the current efforts of government.

“Even with all the support, a functional healthcare system is only an evidence of a delectable educational menu serviced by contented academics and scholars at its zenith. See, for instance, how naked and empty our teaching hospitals turned out to be when threatened by the early wave of COVID-19.

“Yet, these are laboratories established to produce medical and paramedical personnel for our dear nation! Our aspiration for improved quality of life for Nigeria’s teeming population will remain a mirage for as long as the ruling class cannot see the ineluctable consequences of the neglect of university education for qualitative health services.” He said.

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