By Ola Ajayi & Rotimi Ojomoyela
IBADAN—THE Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, yesterday, vowed not to participate in the 2019 general elections.
President of the union, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi disclosed this in a bulletin.
This came as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said that ad hoc staff, to be deployed for the conduct of the 2019 elections would undergo thorough screening to ascertain whether they have criminal records with the police and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.
ASUU, in its bulletin said: “In accordance with the ASUU’s long standing position, ASUU as a Union will not participate in the conduct of 2019 general elections, although members may voluntarily participate in the conduct of the elections.”
ASUU also used the opportunity to make clarification on its face-off with the Federal Government over the minimum wage stating that the offer from the Federal Government towards resolving the demands of ASUU as contained in the 2017 Memorandum of Action, MoA, is still fluid and far from expectations.
In a strike Bulletin 8 issued and signed by the President of ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, a copy of which was obtained in Ibadan, ASUU asked members to await further developments on the strike which are rapidly unfolding.
The bulletin reads: “Though some progress has been made with respect to discussion with Government agents (The Minister of Labour and Employment as well as Minister of Education), at the moment, the proposal from Government towards resolving the demand of ASUU as contained in 2017 MoA and Strike Bulletin 1 is still too fluid and far from expectations.
“Hence, it is the view of the NSCC that members should await further developments which are rapidly unfolding. In accordance with the ASUU’s long standing position, ASUU as a Union will not participate in the conduct of 2019 general elections, although members may voluntarily participate in the conduct of the elections. However, members are prohibited from participating in the election processes using any material that bears ASUU or relates to the Union.”
256,648 unclaimed PVCs in Ekiti
Similarly, INEC in Ekiti State, yesterday, raised the alarm that a total of 256,648 registered voters are yet to claim their Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, in Ekiti out of a total register voters of 921, 027 in the state.
The electoral body stressed that it would dig deep into the records of the ad hoc staff, such as members of National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, and those working with federal higher institutions and Ministries, Department and Agencies, MDAs, to ascertain the records and their capacity to conduct the sensitive elections.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ekiti, Prof Abduganiy Raji said this while addressing stakeholders at the INEC headquarters over the commission’s preparedness for the elections.
Those present at the meeting include: political parties under the aegis of Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, Joint National Association of People Living With Disabilities, JONADIP, and religious bodies.
Raji said: “We are hiring the services of police and NDLEA to test whether the ad hoc staff to be used are having criminal records or are those that are used to hard drugs. We can’t use criminals to conduct elections or drug abusers and be expecting good results.”
He also allayed the fears that the PVCs were being cloned by politicians, saying : “Those doing that will end up being disappointed. Our database can’t be hacked by anybody, because our ICT network was customized in a way that would be hack-free.
“We heard people are selling their PVCs, this would not help anybody. But how can people be selling their future? Even if you are given a sum of N20,000, would that be enough to take you throughout four years? So, our people must stop selling their future.”