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ASUU reacts to its alleged support for education bank, fires at Babalakin

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has declared that it does not in any way support the proposed education bank as claimed by Chairman of the panel set up by the federal government to negotiate with ASUU.

ASUU in a statement sent to DAILY POST by Dr. Ade Adejumo, Zonal Coordinator, Ibadan Zone on Thursday said that the need to respond to a statement credited to Babalakin that the association was supporting the education bank became necessary in order to set the record straight.

Adejumo in the statement entitled “Dr. Wale Babalakin is mischievous: ASUU does not support education bank”, said, “The latest heresy, emerging from the government’s cathedral of lies since the ASUU/FGN imbroglio broke, is from Dr. Wale Babalakin who, rather than honestly sit down and take a serious look at issues being raised by ASUU at the negotiation table over the fate of University education in Nigeria, has decided to compound the problem by feeding the public with outright lies.

“In the recent interaction with the press, Babalakin betrayed himself as either completely bereft of the idea of the functioning of the University system and it’s financial practices or overdrunk on the arrogant wine of power. For him to think that he can get away with cheap lies against ASUU without receiving apt balance of response, is the peak of self-delusion. He is tragically wrong here! For sure, he will receive a surfeit of responses from the Union.

Adejumo added that the union does not in any way support the idea, adding that the claim by Babalakin that the union has not been in any way accountable for the money collected was a case of ignorance.

He said, “To set the record straight, ASUU never supported, for one fleeting moment, the idea of an Education Bank because our Union is too discerning not to see the hidden trap to surreptitiously use it to commercialise public University education beyond the reach of poor Nigerians. We are aware that it is the unworkability of the proposal that led to the sudden and inglorious death of its precursor – Edubank- established in 1993 and its hurried liquidation by the same Federal Government in 2000. Indeed, ASUU’s refusal to go along with Babalakin on this matter at the negotiation table is a major bone of contention that led to the breakdown of the on-going dialogue between the Babalakin-led FGN negotiation team and ASUU. One then wonders where Babalakin got his claim that ASUU is in support of Education Bank.

“Dr Wale Babalakin was also caught claiming that ASUU wants to fund but does not want accountability. That ASUU has not been accountable in all the money given to it in the past is this a case of ignorance or mischief from the base of hell? When has government started releasing money for the running of University or Re-vitalisation purposes to ASUU? Yes, ASUU is always in the forefront of the struggle for better funding, it is the University Administration and the Council that receive and spend the same via contracts given to their friends and cronies without any input from ASUU.

“In essence, the latest untruths coming from Babalakin only go to confirm ASUU’s position that the man is the stumbling block for a fruitful negotiation with our Union. The earlier he is removed, the better for the nation. He is the main reason the renegotiation broke down, hence this strike”.

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