By Salim Yunusa
The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, on Friday, said COVID-19 killed 30 of his members.
Ogunyemi stated this while delivering his valedictory speech at the 21 National Delegates conference of the union held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.
He said, “In line with the provisions of our Constitution, we are here to review our activities in the last three years with a view to charting a new course at this critical juncture of our national life.
“As a point of departure, we must place on record that COVID-19 did not spare our campuses. Many of our infected members had had to combat the COVID attack with resources from colleagues and other people of goodwill because their salaries and emoluments, as well as the union’s check-off deductions, were withheld by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation over the rejection of the discredited Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System
“Our other comrades suffered the same fate in the hands of overzealous State University Vice-Chancellors and Visitors. As a matter of fact, we lost at least 30. In the last three years, ASUU has enjoyed tremendous goodwill from quarters too numerous to mention,” he said.
Ogunyemi’s successor is expected to emerge on Sunday at the Awka conference.
The conference’s lecture titled, “State Terrorism and Nigeria’s Development,” which was delivered by Prof Akin Oyebode of Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, summed that Nigeria was at a crossroad “caught in the vortex of variable contradictions, hopelessness and self-doubt.
The Vice UNIZIK Vice-Chancellor, Prof Charles Esimone, described ASUU as the sole and conscience of the Nigerian University system.