ASUU Rejects Reopening of Universities

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Francis Sardauna in Katsina

The Sokoto State zonal chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has kicked against the calls for the reopening of Nigerian universities by some stakeholders in the country.

The union, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and poor funding from the federal government, insisted that the universities are not safe for reopening.

ASUU Sokoto Zonal Coordinator, Mr. Jamilu Shehu, disclosed this yesterday at a press conference at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Katsina.

The Sokoto zonal office of ASUU comprises Federal University Dutsin-ma; Usumanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto; Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Katsina; Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero, and Sokoto State University.

Shehu said if the federal government reopened the institutions, the government would be held responsible if anything happens to the students.

According to him, “It is far from the truth to say that universities can fulfill the conditions laid down by the government for their reopening. With the hostels and lecture rooms choked up with students, how do you practice social distancing?

“How many universities in Nigeria have running water on the campuses? The private universities clamoring for reopening, what percentage of students do they have compared to the public universities?”

He, however, lamented what he termed fraudulent practices committed by some vice chancellors, which he said have compromised academic standards and subverted university ethics.

Consequently, Shehu called on the National University Commission (NUC), as the universities regulating body, to immediately investigate the activities of the vice chancellors.

He said: “With the winding down of COVID-19 lockdown, ASUU calls on the NUC, as the regulator of the universities, to take immediate steps to investigate all fraudulent practices committed by overzealous VCs who have compromised academic standards and subverted university ethics.”