CLAIM: That ASUU and federal government meeting ended in an altercation, and ASUU chairman, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, was slapped.
The claim that ASUU president was slapped during a meeting with the federal government is FALSE.
On 23rd October 2020, a Twitter user @maryamamasa posted a twenty-seven-seconds video clip of a rowdy session, claiming that it was an altercation between the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and delegates of the federal government during a meeting to end the ongoing industrial action by the union.
The video which was uploaded at exactly 11:17 am has gathered 460 likes, 276 retweets and viewed by 9,928 users
She said: “We are not resuming school anytime soon. I think they slapped ASUU chairman, just received a dirty slap.”
After some hours, @maryamamasa deleted the video but The ICIR archived the tweet (here)
Another user @fadeldey4u who also shared the video at exactly 2:02 pm that same day has gathered 11,600 views before 11:04 pm on Friday and captioned it as thus: “Forget school this year fam, ASUU”
On March 9, 2020, university lecturers in Nigeria declared a two-week warning strike to protest against what it termed “forceful” enrolment into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), a payroll software mandated for all public officials.
After the expiration of the warning strike, the union declared an indefinite strike to further press home their demands. This was despite the closure of schools by the federal government to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a turn of event, the leadership of the union met with the federal government to discuss the proposals tabled by the federal government in a bid to end the industrial strike which has been a major challenge why students in federal universities have not returned to school after the government eased the coronavirus lockdown.
The meeting which was held on October 21, 2020, however, ended in a deadlock after the union rejected the offer by the FG team to pay the salary of the lecturers and the 30b earned allowance, using IPPIS pending the roll-out of the union’s preferred payment platform, University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS)
To verify the clip, The ICIR conducted an analysis of the video by subjecting its keyframes to multiple reverse image search using Google and TinEye.
One of the results led to a youtube video uploaded three years by Sahara Reporter with a caption detailing rancour in the Edo State House of Assembly
“Members of the Edo State House of Assembly in Free-For-All fight to replace the speaker,” the caption read.
The video which was uploaded on August 17, 2017, has so far been viewed 1,955 times.
Further checks led The ICIR to another video uploaded by one Kemi Ariyo on Youtube. The five-minute video which was uploaded on August 15, 2017, also gathered 18,409 views.
“Fight in Edo State House of Assembly after the speaker, Dr Justin Okonoboh was impeached. Kabir Adjoto replaced him,” he also captioned.
On August 14, 2017, the plenary session on the floor of the Edo State Assembly got tense when the speaker of the House, Dr Justin Okonoboh, was impeached, following an impeachment notice signed by 16, out of the 24-member assembly.
His deputy, Mrs Elizabeth Ativie, and the former Majority Leader, Mr Foly Ogedengbe, were also suspended for three months.
The house became rowdy when Mr Sylvanus Eruaga, member representing Etsako West II, was said to have asked Okonoboh to vacate the seat, a call that led to a fight among some of the lawmakers in the chambers.
After the brawl, a former principal officer of the House, Mr Kabiru Adjoto, representing Akoko Edo I, was elected as the new Speaker.
However, according to PUNCH, the last meeting held between the Federal Government and the union was on Wednesday 21st of October 2020 and it ended in a deadlock following the disagreement over the payment platform that would be used in disbursing the salary arrears and the N30bn Earned Allowances of the university lecturers.
Responding to the claim, ASUU president, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, in a text sent to The ICIR discarded the viral video, stating he has never been slapped in any meeting with the government
“That is not true. ASUU President was not slapped at any point in our discussion with the government,” he stated.
The claim that ASUU president was slapped during a meeting with the federal government is FALSE. The video was from 2017 during a rowdy session in the Edo State House of Assembly which led to bickering between parties.
The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with The ICIR to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.