Daud Olatunji, Abeokuta
THE Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Prof. Felix Salako, has cautioned the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities in the institution to desist from de-marketing the institution.
The Chairman of ASUU, FUNAAB Branch, Dr. Adebayo Oni, had told The PUNCH that holding physical lectures with students would be disastrous, maintaining that there was no preparation for COVID-19 safety protocols.
Salako, who was reacting to ASUU’s comment in Abeokuta, described Oni’s comment as shocking and a disservice to the institution.
He said contrary to the ASUU narrative, the institution had made adequate preparations; both medical equipment and infrastructure, to ensure students received lectures virtually and physically in compliance with the safety protocols.
Salako, who also took newsmen on a facility tour, expressed regret that the ASUU chairman was in attendance at the last Senate meeting, where final decisions on resumption of academic activities were reached.
He asked the union to desist from what he called “personalised unionism” capable of de-marketing the university.
Salako said, “The University is ready to receive students both online and physically and we are going to ensure that all the students adhere to COVID-19 protocols.
“There is a lot of personalised unionism going about without thinking about how you are de-marketing the university system in Nigeria. Are we going to keep our students outside forever?”
But ASUU chairman, FUNAAB Branch, Adebayo Oni, insisted that the institution was operating without electricity and water supply.
Oni explained that contrary to the claims by Salako, that the institution was ready to receive the students based on the adherence to COVID-19 guidelines, there was nothing on the ground to show that FUNAAB was ready for resumption.
On the claim by the VC that the entire campus had been fumigated many times, the ASUU chairman said, “Fumigation is relative; it depends on how you want to look at it.
“As at the time I spoke with you, there is no hand sanitizer in place, but after my comments, they quickly got some sanitizers in each college and as we speak, there is no water at the hand washing stand. We were supposed to start an online orientation for students but because there is no power supply, the Internet is not working.”