By Ikechukwu Odu
NSUKKA—-The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, chapter, on Wednesday, called on the general public to disregard what it described as a “mischievous call,” for assistance by a Nollywood actor, Williams Uchemba, for some ASUU members in UNN.
In a statement jointly signed by the chairman of the UNN ASUU branch, and the Secretary, Comrade Christian Opata, and Comrade Michael Nwokedi, respectively, the Union said it was not aware of any such plea for assistance by members and never initiated same.
The Union further alleged that Uchemba could be playing the scripts of the Federal Government especially when his statement coincided with President Muhammadu Buhari’s “enough is enough,” threat to ASUU.
Part of the statement reads “The attention of the leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 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 the University of Nigeria, Nsukka feed their families. The maker of the video claimed that the help arose from a request by some lecturers 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 same 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 welfare scheme for cushioning the effect 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 of members and other challenges that require financial assistance.
“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 Buhari’s misplaced, unfounded and ill-informed threat of “enough is enough.” However, if his intension 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 previal on 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 assistanc,”the statement read.
All attempts to hear from Uchemba proved abortive as his phone line was switched off at press time.