ASUU to lecturers: Protect our image in 2023 elections

Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU President

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has enjoined its members participating in the 2023 general election not to engage in actions that would tarnish the image of the union.

ASUU, in a statement issued on Friday by its President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, also urged Nigerians to only cast their votes for candidates who have proved beyond reasonable doubt from past engagements that they were ready to work towards providing quality and affordable education in the country.

Osodeke said: “Owing to some unpalatable reports available to the leadership of ASUU, the union resolved and stated after the 2015 general election that it would no longer recommend its members to participate in the conduct of general elections as representatives of ASUU.

“However, the union understands that members as citizens have civic rights and can make individual decisions on playing roles in the electoral process apart from voting. ASUU members who so decide are, therefore, strongly advised to exercise utmost restraints to protect the collective image of the academia.

“ASUU is seriously worried that little or nothing has been done to ameliorate the excruciating conditions of Nigerians under which the 2023 elections will be conducted.

“For majority of hapless and helpless Nigerians, the business of existence has become nightmarish with the implementation of the ill-conceived currency redesign policy. On daily basis, ordinary citizens are confronted with gruesome sense of abandonment by federal, state, and local authorities whose primary responsibilities are security and welfare of the citizens. Poverty, hunger, diseases, and sundry existential challenges have become daily companions of the citizenry.

“Meanwhile, political elites carry on as if they have lost every idea about organising and running a decent society for the benefit of all. The country, no doubt, is in dire need of focused leadership that will restore order and inject life into a nation desperately gasping for breath.

“ASUU salutes Nigerians for their resilience and steadfastness in pushing for the entrenchment of democratic ethos. Democracy is certainly wider and deeper than the four-year election cycles.

“However, the demand for a regime of free, fair, credible and non-violent electoral process is a legitimate pre-requisite in the country’s search for pro-people governance and a mechanism for galvanising the collaborative efforts of Nigerians for transforming what the ruling class has termed ‘our nascent democracy’.

“This makes participation in the upcoming elections a moral duty for us as Nigerians. To change the narratives of ballot stuffing and snatching, thuggery, vote-buying, and other electoral ills of the past, all hands must be on deck.

“ASUU posits that it is time Nigerians reorganised the political and socio-economic equations of the country for the benefit of the generality of its people. A stop must be put to a situation where the resources of the country are concentrated in the hands of a few manipulative political elites.

“This is why ASUU calls on Nigerians to carefully weigh the profiles and antecedents of those that have been thrown up by various political parties before casting their votes. Education, particularly university education, is the catalyst to Nigeria’s developmental challenges and Nigerians should be wary of politicians whose antecedents are antithetical to the provision of qualitative and affordable education in the country.

“We call on political gladiators and all saddled with the responsibility of delivering on the 2023 elections to play the game according to the rules. Nigeria is our collective heritage. No efforts should be spared to salvage the sinking fortunes of the nation for generations yet unborn,” the ASUU President noted.

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