Nigerian students, especially those in public universities, have been waking up daily with a sigh of despair since February 14, 2022, after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on industrial action.
As the 16th strike since 1999 and cumulatively more than 633 days since Buhari assumed office as Nigeria’s President in 2015, this strike has witnessed more drama than past incidents.
With court cases between the warring parties, ‘no-work, no-pay’ threats for the union members and registration of the Congress of Nigeria University Academics (CONUA), any blink of hope is a welcome idea for Nigerian students.
However, some Twitter handles pry on this to misinform students and other affected persons. DUBAWA has gathered some of this information for a fact-check.
A Twitter account with the username ASUU UPDATES quoted Dr Salihu Lukman, the National Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC, North-West) as saying, the Federal Government will compensate Nigerian students with the seven months’ salaries of the ASUU members.
The caption reads, “Strike: FG to compensate students for the 7th month’s salary of ASUU members- Dr Salihu Lukman.”
The tweet has gathered more than 1000 reactions, 202 retweets, and 238 comments. However, DUBAWA found the tweet misleading.
According to reports on credible media platforms, the politician only urged the Federal Government to compensate students. This implies that the motion is not in effect or in consideration.
UNICAL death rate
The same handle also tweeted that over 21 professors and senior lecturers at the University of Calabar have died due to the ongoing ASUU strike.
The caption reads, “BREAKING: Over 21 Professors and Senior Lecturers have lost their lives at the University of Calabar as a result of the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.”
The tweet has also gone viral with more than 1100 reactions, 198 retweets and 242 comments.
Some media platforms have also shared the information with readers.
In a statement released by the chairman of the union’s chapter in the university, Dr John Edor, he disclosed that the chapter lost ten members due to the ‘no-work, no-pay’ policy. This was obtained on DAILY POST.
He said, “It is not correct that 21 members of our Union in the University of Calabar have lost their lives as a result of the ongoing national industrial action.”
“I can confirm that we have lost about 10 of our members, but not all are professors. The professors are Gabriel U. Ntamu, Judith Otu, Udosen, Kate Agbor, Obia and other academics.”
He also said that the union would survive and persevere with whatever measures the federal government could devise.
He said that, even though the government has refused to listen to their plights, they will continue to cope, regardless of all their losses.
The statement further added that the action would be taken to a logical conclusion, despite the intimidation the union is experiencing.
Another Twitter account with the username ASUU UPDATES, but a different handle, @ASUU_Daily, tweeted that the federal government had reached an agreement with the union to end the strike after seven months.
The tweet reads, “Congratulations Nigerian Students. ASUU and FG have finally agreed to reopen public universities after seven months of strike. FG threatens to sack arrant lecturers.”
In the picture used for the tweet, Chris Ngige – the current Minister of Labour and Employment – was seen shaking hands with the former National President of ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, with Professor Emmanuel Osodeke – the current President – watching.
The tweet has garnered more than 7700 reactions, 1300 retweets and 690 comments.
However, fact-checks by DUBAWA revealed that the information was false.
As of press time, the Federal government didn’t come to an agreement with the union. Instead, the Appeal Court recently ordered the Union to call off their strike immediately.
Also, the picture used is misleading. DUBAWA ran a check on the picture with Google Reverse Image Search, a tool that allows users to trace the origin of pictures. It was discovered that the picture has existed since February 2019, when both parties agreed to end a three-month strike when Professor Biodun Ogunyemi was still the national president.
In previous fact-checks by DUBAWA, ASUU disclosed that it has no official Twitter handle. Therefore, these handles spreading the information are not verifiable, and their information can be misleading.