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ASUU did not ask universities to resume on March 15

Claim: Some Facebook posts have a claim that Nigerian public universities are set to resume on 15th March.

There is a possibility that ASUU resumes after its four-week warning strike. However, the union has not announced its plan to resume on the 15th of March as claimed by social media users. Rather, the union still maintains its “no resumption until implementation of 2009 Agreement” position. The claim is, therefore, false.

Full Text

As conversations between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Federal Government of Nigeria continue, a “breaking news” which has a claim that varsities are to resume on 15th March, has been circulating on social media.

Aside the need to revitalise public universities, the 2009 agreement between the union and Nigerian government has been a major source of incessant industrial actions, disrupting the education of students in Nigerian public universities. In order to demand the fulfillment of this agreement, ASUU again embarked on its fresh three-week warning strike on 14th of February, 2022.

Particularly on Facebook, DUBAWA’s finding reveals a ‘breaking news’  started circulating on Wednesday, 9th of March, 2022. Screenshots of similar posts have been repeatedly forwarded by WhatsApp users in different versions. 

The viral claim on Facebook

While stirring controversial comments, some Facebook users have questioned the source of this claim. Despite that, a large number of people believed it to be true. For example, Isma’il Abubakar demanded for the source of this claim from one of the posters. 

“…Plz stop playing with our emotions 😏😏,” he added to his comment which never got any response.

Another user accused a poster of confusing people. He further urged other users to wait for an official announcement.

He said: “U guyx are saying what u don’t knowledge, this not good delete this post, u are confusing people, wait for the anouncement first. ”

A few users who doubt the credibility of this claim

The viral claim on WhatsApp

Over time, DUBAWA has observed that during significant situations in the country, individuals and blogs don’t stop sharing information. Despite that many fail to name their sources, many continue to misinform the public. Going by such an event, has ASUU declared its resumption plan? 

Verification

Information such as this usually makes it to the headlines of national dailies. But on the contrary, DUBAWA could not find any similar news in prominent Nigerian newspapers. News with such anticipated prominence with no actual appearance in any daily signifies a  red flag.

Furthermore, after careful observations, DUBAWA discovered that the circulating information was written in the same format except with little changes, in a few cases. But while some of them were written with assertions that varsities are resuming, others used the expression “expected to resume” in their publications. But one thing was common with these different versions, their headlines carry the “breaking news” or “NEW” tag.

Different versions of the claim

Meanwhile, in a March 7th publication of Premium Times newspaper, ASUU still maintained its “no resumption until implementation of 2009 Agreement” stance. The union has already assured that it would continue the industrial action “until whatever the government wants to do with the agreement is completed and an acceptable implementation commences.” 

This came from the leadership of the union after the minister of education, Adamu Adamu, gave a three-month deadline to the newly inaugurated committee members who are to renegotiate the ASUU-FG 2009 agreement. This further refutes ASUU’s resumption plan as claimed.

Conclusion

ASUU has not announced its plan to resume on the 15th of March as claimed by social media users. Rather, the union still maintains its “no resumption until implementation of 2009 Agreement” position.

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