Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (FUAM) branch has donated intervention materials including hand sanitisers and handbills to the Benue State COVID-19 Action Committee as part of efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The lecturers also informed the committee that, given the opportunity and necessary support, FUAM has sufficient manpower in the Colleges of Science and Engineering to produce ventilators which are currently in short supply all over the world.
Presenting the items to the committee at the Government House in Makurdi on Thursday, ASUU FUAM Chairman, Dr Simon Ejembi explained that the gesture was to demonstrate the union’s concerns for the welfare and well-being of the Nigerian people.
“It is indeed a great delight for me to be part of history as our union (ASUU) demonstrates its depth of patriotism in this trying time for our country as we mitigate the ravaging effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Although erroneously perceived as the sickness for the ‘big people”, the multiplier effects cannot be portrayed so since the entire human system is intertwined encompassing both small and great as well as the high and the lowly.
“It is pertinent to thank God Almighty who has an exceptional interest in our state and the nation at large in the control of the pandemic which has left even the most developed countries flatfooted.”
Ejembi congratulated the state COVID-19 committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Engr. Benson Abounu, for the proactive steps taken so far to contain the spread of the virus in our state.
He noted that the donation was in furtherance of the decision of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at its emergency meeting held on Saturday, 21 March 2020, at the University of Abuja, Abuja.
“At that meeting, NEC resolved that the union should participate actively in the ongoing efforts to prevent and control the spread of the coronavirus, otherwise called COVID-19.
“In the press conference that followed on 23 March 2020, we had declared: to demonstrate our concerns for the welfare and well-being of the Nigerian people; ASUU members nationwide shall be willing to work with medical and paramedical workers as volunteers in their public enlightenment and professional intervention initiatives.
“For us in ASUU, according to ASUU President, this is not an occasion for blame game or buck-passing. However, it calls for sober reflection on what we need to do differently with our health and education. We talk of our health because that holds the key to our wealth, and our education because, without it, we are going nowhere in the advancement ladder among comity of civilized nations.
Responding, the deputy governor who is also the chairman, Benue State Action Committee on COVID-19 commended ASUU FUAM for the donation and promised that the committee would give the union the necessary moral and financial support in the quest to produce ventilators.
Abounu who described the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic of a very significant proportion, lamented the rapid manner in which it is ravaging many parts of the world even as he expressed the hope that its worst effect would not be witnessed in Benue and in Nigeria.