By Nurudeen Akewushola
That the authority Of Usmanu Danfodiyo University has approved the reopening of school and the University will be reopened on November 2nd.
The claim that the University will be reopened on November 2nd is false.
A Viral post which claimed that the Vice-Chancellor of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Prof. LS Bilbis has ordered the reopening of school on November 2nd, 2020 after 7 months of ASUU strike is making round on students’ social media groups.
On 23rd of October, a Facebook user, Ahmad Ibrahim Rufai shared a memorandum to one of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Students Facebook group, the memorandum stated that the Vice-Chancellor of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Prof LS Bilbis directed that the school should resume on November 2nd 2020.
According to the memorandum, the decision was made after the 7 months ASUU strike has been called off.
Before and after it was shared by him, the doctored memorandum has surfaced on many students’ WhatsApp and Facebook groups and it has been shared by many students on their WhatsApp statuses.
In a memorandum dated 20th of March 2020, the management of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, in compliance with NUC directives, directed all the students to vacate hostels on or before 23rd of March over the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier before the announcement, On the 9th of March, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had embarked on two weeks warning strike which began fully in UDUS on March 11th, 2020. The warning strike was later changed to an indefinite strike which is still on till date.
Meanwhile, on the 23rd of October, the Federal Government through the Minister of Education Adamu Adamu ordered the full reopening of all schools in Nigeria, Adamu said the decision to reopen the schools was because the due to the declination of COVID-19 infection figure.
Earlier before the announcement, the minister of Education, Abubakar Rasheed was quoted saying “universities not under ASUU watch can go back to classes once they have put the necessary guidelines in place.”
Up till now, the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) insists that university lecturers will not resume until it reaches consensus with the federal government.
Meanwhile, both the federal government and ASUU couldn’t reach a consensus in their last meeting held on Wednesday.
A cross-check by Pen Press into the memorandum also shows that it’s forged, the name of the University is wrongly spelled as ‘Usmanu Danfodio’ instead of “Usmanu Danfodiyo”. It also contains wrong signatories, the viral memorandum was signed by the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tanbuwal, Sultan Sokoto Mallam Saad Abubakar, and the former Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor AA Zuru which none of them is among the University Governing Council.
Pen Press reached out to the Dean Student Affairs, Prof Aminu Mode to verify the viral memorandum.
In his brief response to Pen Press inquiry via a telephone conversation, he clarified that management is yet to direct students to resume, he clarified that the circular that was released by the Federal Government only directed workers of the Universities to resume.
He recalled that what led to the closure of schools from the onset was not the ASUU strike but an outbreak of coronavirus and that the lecture might not resume due to the ASUU strike but the University will resume immediately it receives order from the federal government.
“Remember that university said students should go back because of coronavirus not because of ASUU strike even now University is not waiting for ASUU strike because even if ASUU suspends strike if the Federal Government does not say students should resume no VC will say students should resume because students are at home because of coronavirus.”
He further clarified that students will be directed to resume immediately Federal Government gives directive noting that the lectures will remain on a halt till lecturers call off the strike.
“The University management will release calendar immediately Federal Government releases circular and if ASUU suspends strike today lecturers will go back to class tomorrow.”
“If FG says students should come back I will advise students to come back and be reading their books but for that of lectures ASUU is still on strike and from all the indications the issues will be resolved soon.” He concluded
The memorandum which claimed that students are directed to resume on November 2nd is fabricated and its content is FALSE and misleading.