The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) chapter has disclaimed actor Williams Uchemba’s public demand for assistance to its members.
Uchemba, in a viral video, pledged with the public to support the lecturers from his Alma mater with donation of cash and food items.
The entertainer claimed some of his lecturers reached out to him begging for assistance, noting they could no longer feed their families because of the protracted ASUU strike, which commenced on February 14.
However Christian Opata, UNN ASUU chairman and its secretary, Michael Nwokedi, in a statement told the public to disregard the movie star’s claim, noting it has already put adequate measures in place to help cushion the effect of the strike on its members.
The statement reads: “The attention of the leadership of ASUU-UNN has been drawn to a video credited to one Mr Williams Uchemba, seeking the support of well-meaning and good spirited individuals to help lecturers in UNN feed their families. The maker of the video claimed that the help arose from a request by one lecturer in the branch.
“However, when the leadership of the branch got in touch with him, he was very apologetic and went ahead to put his apology in writing and posted some on social media, especially on his Facebook page.
“ASUU-UNN wish to inform the general public that our union is not aware of any such plea and never initiated same. Our shock is that we have a very good welfare scheme for cushioning the effects of the withheld salaries on our members and majority of members who applied for help under the scheme were attended to.
“This is not limited to feeding, but extends to payment for health challenges, school fees of wards, members and other challenges that require financial assistance.”
The union stated though Uchemba’s claim seemed suspicious on the other hand it was applaudable if his move was made to actually gain the attention of the government and general public towards the plight of the striking lecturers.
“We suspect that this may be one of the antics of government to break the ranks of ASUU. Our suspicion is premised on the coincidence in the timing of the said post and President Muhammadu Buhari’s misplaced, unfounded and ill-informed threat of “enough is enough.”
“However, if his intention is genuine, we thank him for calling the attention of the public and government to the plight of Nigerian universities and equally ask other Nigerians to join him to prevail on the government to end the strike and get our children back to school.
“We, therefore, call on the general public to disregard the mischievous call for assistance,” it added.
Credit: The Nation .