Fact-Check: Is Anambra State University the only public varsity that is not on strike in Nigeria?
Claim: The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi claimed that; Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), Igbariam, formerly known as Anambra State University, is the only open varsity in Nigeria amidst the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) lecturers.
Full text: On August 14, a tweet with the username “Tony Montana” shared a short video clip of Peter Obi discussing the state of the nation as he was featured in a studio conversation on TV.
While commenting on the ongoing ASUU Strike, Obi mentioned that Anambra State University is the only varsity that is currently not on strike in Nigeria, thus attributing this feat to his efforts when he was the governor of the state.
“You are talking about what I did… the only university that’s not shut down today is the Anambra State University because of what Peter Obi did,” said Obi.
Regarding the upcoming 2023 elections, Peter Obi stressed that the lecturers who are not being paid and the students who are not attending school are the ones to decide their fate.
It has been over six months since ASUU lecturers embarked on strike in an attempt to press home their demands from the federal government of Nigeria.
The strike, which started as a warning in February 2022, has crippled academic activities across state and federal government-owned universities.
ASUU has been battling the federal government to honour the agreement it reached with the union since 2009 after calling off its four months old strike. Part of the agreement include payment of the Earned Academic Allowances for the lecturers and revitalization of the school structures in order to have a conducive environment that is favourable for teaching and learning processes.
The payment platform of the lecturers by the FG is another hydra-headed problem responsible for the ongoing strike. The Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system (IPPIS), conceptualized in 2006 and fully implemented by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, has been accused by the varsity teachers of being faulty and inaccurate in the disbursement of academic staff salaries.
Meanwhile, checks by PRNigeria in response to this claim showed that several state-owned universities are still operating despite the ongoing ASUU strike.
This has even become more clear as the Lagos State government was quick to refute the assertion made by the former Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi.
Reacting to the video, Gboyega Akosile, the Chief Press Secretary to Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, quoted the original tweet with a comment to counter Obi’s claim.
He said, contrary to the former governor’s claim, there are other universities that are still in session despite the ASUU strike.
Also, Bashir Ahmad, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Digital Communication has also debunked this claim on his Twitter page by mentioning Ebonyi State University among varsities that are presently undergoing academic activities.
In fact, there are other state-owned universities in Nigeria apart from Anambra State University where ASUU members have refused to join the nationwide strike. They include Kwara State University, Osun State University, Lagos State University, and Ambrose Alli University.
Others are Rivers State University, Prince Abubakar Audu University(PAAU) Ayingba (formerly known as Kogi State University), Yobe State University, Borno State University and a host of others.
Recall that the Coalition for Education and Justice (CEJ) had in February commended PAAU, Ayingba, Kogi State, for maintaining a stable calendar and refusing to partake in the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike.
The claim by Peter Obi that only Anambra State University remained open despite the ongoing ASUU strike is WRONG.
Thus, based on the available information gathered, the assertion made by Peter Obi is therefore FALSE.
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