The Lagos State University (LASU) chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has distanced itself from a rumoured forthcoming political rally in the state.
A report claimed that affiliates of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Lagos are planning to organise a rally in support of one of the political parties ahead of next month’s general election.
The report had named ASUU as one of the unions billed to participate in the rally since it is among NLC affiliates in the state.
But in a statement on Tuesday, the union asked the public to disregard the claim.
The statement was signed by Isaac Oyewumi, LASU’s ASUU chairman, and Tony Dansu, secretary of the union in the institution.
The union said as an intellectual body, it remains non-partisan. It also warned members against “opportunistic impersonation of the leadership of the union to exploit some members of the political class”.
“For the avoidance of doubt on the part of anyone who may not be familiar with the tenets and workings of our Union, we wish to state unequivocally that ASUU-LASU will not be part of any political rally. We have not received any directive from the leadership of our Union, either through NEC or the Principal Officers to endorse or support any political party. We actually do not expect any. It is not in the tradition of ASUU to play partisan politics,” it reads.
“It is very obvious to the leadership of the Union, especially at the Branch level, that our members share divergent political views. Some are even politically indifferent. It will therefore be foolhardy for a union of intellectuals of different political temperaments to seek to decimate its own ranks by luring or coercing members into the campaign of any political party.
“Exco wishes to encourage members to take advantage of the window opened by INEC for the collection of PVC, to ensure that they collect theirs, and vote for candidates of their choice when the elections come. We wish all the political parties well, and hope that they will not only play by the rules of the game for peaceful, free and fair elections, but also fulfill their promises to the people if and when they win.
“We admonish those who may be thinking of impersonating the Union at political rallies in the hope of trading the credibility of ASUU for patronage to desist from doing so, and urge the security agencies to be at alert.”