ASUU threatens a nationwide strike over abducted UNIMAID staff
Following the abduction of three University of Maiduguri members of staff by Boko Haram on Tuesday, July 25 when they ambushed troops comprising of soldiers and members of the Civilian Joint Task Force escorting staff members of the university and Nigerian National Petroleum Commission who were carrying out oil exploration activities in Borno state.
The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi has threatened the Federal Government that a nationwide strike would commence if security in the University of Maiduguri is not strengthened and abducted staff members freed.
The insurgents during the attack killed soldiers, civilians and abducted three staff members of the University of Maiduguri.
According to ASUU President, “Our union is no doubt saddened by the UNIMAID incident.
It is a concrete manifestation of our fears all along.
As far back as June 9, we expressed our fears about the alarming security situation in the Maiduguri metropolis and particularly in UNIMAID. Those fears we expressed are beginning to manifest concretely. He said.
“The situation could have been better handled. Our members, who were carrying out their legitimate duties were made vulnerable to this experience.
‘‘We have told the government to take the necessary steps and get our members in captivity released or else, we may be forced to call out our members. But we are getting assurances now that the government is going to do the needful.”
Commenting on ASUU’s threat, a Lagos State University lecturer, Dr. Saheed Adeyemo, who is currently in Malaysia said the Union’s warning to Federal Government is a good attempt to protect its own and make the government to be alive to its responsibility. “Every association of union has the right to protect its own and one of the ways by which you can make a government to take an action on an
issue sometimes is to issue a strong statement. However, they cannot say so and act in earnest over such pronouncements. It is just to sensitize the government.
“As we know, whether the government is working on an issue or not, it is when people hear what they are doing that they will believe the government is taking a matter seriously. If you consider the abduction of the school boys in Lagos, it was because there were agitations from the public and right now the students have been released. Just like what happened with the Chibok girls. So, for ASUU to speak about their members, I don’t think it is out of place. It is an attempt to make the government be alive to their responsibility because this is a security issue.”
The abducted trio according to the video the insurgent released on Thursday, July 28, are Yusuf Ibrahim, a lecturer, Geology department, University of Maiduguri; Haruna, a driver from the University of
Maiduguri; and Dr Solomon a lecturer from the University of Maiduguri.
The lecturers were seen in the video begging the Federal Government to come to their aid.
University of Maiduguri has in recent times been repeatedly attacked by suicide bombers.