The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has denied endorsing the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, in the forthcoming general elections.
This is coming after Tribune newspaper reported the alleged endorsement of Atiku by the Ogun State chapter of the union on Thursday.
The denial was contained in a statement jointly issued by ASUU chapters across the Ogun State-based universities including the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun, and the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye.
The statement, signed by the chairmen of the chapters including Joel Okewale, Olatunji Ettu and Adebayo Oni for OOU, TASUED, and FUNAAB respectively, noted that the report is an attempt by the PDP to drag the union into partisan politics adding that its members are free to align with any political party of their choice but not with the identity of the union.
“Our attention has been drawn to a news item in the Tribune Online of Wednesday, February 6, 2019, titled; “#NigeriaDecides: Ogun ASUU, Academics Pledge Support For Atiku.”
“The said article claimed that members of ASUU along with other stakeholders in the educational sector resolved to work, canvass and mobilise in support of the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar to ensure his election in the forthcoming presidential election in February.
“In refuting the involvement of ASUU in the said resolution, we wish to state the following that: ASUU does not operate along the state divide. Therefore, there is no Ogun ASUU, just as there is no ASUU for other states. Our union has a national charter with branches in universities.
“Whilst respecting the interest of individual academics and their political leanings, our union wishes to state categorically that ASUU has no part in the said meeting where the resolution was made and also disclaims the involvement of ASUU in the said resolution.
“ASUU views the use of its name in the newspaper item as a deliberate mischief by the newspaper correspondent who is aware that ASUU has branch executives in each of the public university in Ogun State, and should have verified the news item before publishing.
“For the avoidance of doubt, ASUU states unequivocally that at no time were any of its representatives involved in any political gathering where support was declared for any political party or candidate.
“We, therefore, dissociate ourselves from this extant Tribune Online news and any such mischievous news item. We call on the public to be wary of such news with the intrinsic frivolity and cheap attempt to ride on our Union’s integrity.” The union’s statement read in part.