The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has explained why it would not stop any of its members from participating in the conduct of the coming general election as ad-hoc staff.
Speaking on the outcome of the meeting between the union and the Independent National Electoral Commission on how the conduct of the election could be saved from the negative effect of the ongoing ASUU strike, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, said the union was not opposed to any processes that could aid the democratic process of the country.
Ogunyemi is the president of ASUU.
“Participating in election is part of community service, we as patriots we will do everything to support the process that will further institutionalise the democratisation of our entire nation,” he said.
The meeting was organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission with ASUU to save the coming general.
The leadership of the union during the meeting agreed that its members could participate in the conduct of the election.
INEC had raised the alarm that the general election could be threatened by the ongoing strike embarked upon by ASUU to make the federal government improve the condition in the universities across the country.
This is because lecturers as well as students form a large percentage of the ad-hoc staff of INEC during elections.
That, it was envisaged, might not be possible as the strike might extend to the election period.
The President of ASUU spoke after the meeting on the outcome of their deliberation.
His words: “We had a good meeting with the INEC team. We placed on record that our relationship with INEC dated back to 2010 when the former ASUU president, Attahiru Jega was chairman.
“Even though we are not in the position now to do everything we were doing that time, we have assured them that we will not stand in the way of our members participating in the election as ad-hoc staff.
“The decision of our union as at the last time we met was that our members are free as citizens to participate in the electoral process as ad-hoc staff and we have restated that today that we are not going to stop any of our members who wishes to serve in that capacity.
“On our own part, we will continue to support them with research because our strike as of today is about academic activities, we have not stopped conducting research, we have not stopped conducting community services.
“Participating in election is part of community service, we as patriots we will do everything to support the process that will further institutionalise the democratisation of our entire nation. So we are working at that level.”