The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday tasked the federal government on the need to make provision for the needs of the people, with a view to cushioning their hardship which is occasioned by the lockdown to curtail the spread of COVID-19 nationwide.
ASUU national president, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, spoke at the Gombe State University, during the presentation of 80 cartons of hand sanitisers, 15 cartons of liquid soap and 6,000 pieces of educational materials (Hausa and Education), by the branch chairman, Federal University, Kashere, Prof. Sani Saidu, to Gombe State Taskforce on COVID-19, religious bodies; Jama’atu Nasir-Islam, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the university community.
Ogunyemi, who was represented by Saidu, said: “We wish to advise the federal government that the emerging lockdown of the country may not achieve its desired results of promoting ‘self-isolation and social distancing’ if the existential needs of the masses are not met.
“Access to electricity and running water and unbroken chain of food supply and availability of other essential items are key components of the policy called ‘lockdown’.
“Unless these are factored into equation, governments at the national and sub-national levels may be courting an uncontrollable regime of rebellion which may be counterproductive to the cause of fighting the covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria.”
On his part, ASUU branch chairman of Gombe State University, Dr Oladimeji Lawal, said that his branch has through the support of medical professional colleagues, engaged in enlightenment campaigns in the media in the fight against COVID-19.
The vice chancellor, Gombe State University, Professor Usman El-nafaty, noted that ASUU had been contributing its quotas to the war against the virus, adding that “this shows we are part of the society and the association is very sensitive”