THE owner of the popular Human Rights Radio in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, has suspended its crowdfunding initiative aimed at ending the ongoing strike by university lecturers.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other university workers’ unions have been on strike for almost four months. The unions’ demands include better funding for the nation’s public tertiary institutions and improved welfare for their members
The ICIR had reported that Isah had commenced crowdfunding with a view to ending the lingering crisis between the lecturers and the federal government, which has kept students in public universities at home for over four months.
Isah, who anchors the popular Brekete Family philanthropic programme on the radio station, had pledged to give N10 million to the ASUU cause and called on Nigerians to contribute to a designated bank account, which was shared across many social media channels.
On Saturday, June 11, 2022 morning, Isah invited the ASUU president, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, and his team to explain to Nigerians the perennial problems and state why the union was still on strike.
During the programme, Isah publicly presented the N50 million in cash donated by Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State and other donors in front of the ASUU president, but the latter rejected the offer.
“We should not be associated with this money that we are seeing on the floor here. It is against the Central Bank’s rule. ASUU is not part of what we are seeing here,” Osodoke said.
Reacting to the development, Isah promised to halt the crowdfunding move and directed his personal assistants to refund the money to the donors.
After much pleading from Nigerians who called in during the programme, Isah said the organisation would deliberate on whether to continue with the initiative and would revert to the public next week.
Osodoke expressed his appreciation to the facilitator and assured him that the ASUU leadership would consult with its members regarding the intervention.
Nurudeen Akewushola is an investigative reporter and fact-checker with The ICIR. He believes in-depth investigative reporting is the key to social justice and good governance. You can shoot him an email via email@example.com and @NurudeenAkewus1 on Twitter.