The American University of Nigeria (AUN), an institution that is owned by Nigeria’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, is allegedly planning to lay off staff members that are not vaccinated against COVID-19.
Some workers made this revelation to SaharaReporters.
SaharaReporters learnt that the affected workers were slammed with a two weeks’ ultimatum to present certificates of vaccination against the highly contagious flu or risk being booted out.
In a memo sent to all staff members, the president of AUN Margee Ensign, stated that only persons vaccinated against COVID-19 will be allowed on the university's premises.
"Please review the schedule bellow and get your vaccination as soon as possible. Proof of vaccination will be required to enter campus in two weeks.
"As I said in a recent email, we are requiring all AUN community members (faculty, staff and students) to be vaccinated. Vaccinations will be available next Monday through Friday 10am to 5pm in the clinic. Please make sure you get your vaccination as soon as possible. In two weeks, only those who have been vaccination will be allowed on campus", Ensign warned.
“The affected workers may be thereafter sacked. It is a plot,” one of the sources said.
This order is coming amidst global advocacy from stakeholders for nations to ease restrictions and measures.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), on Thursday recommended nations to lift or ease their existing COVID-19-related travel restrictions, saying they could exacerbate economic and social stress related to the pandemic.
AUN's stringent measures therefore, sent wrong message, as the sack threat is running counter to global coordination geared towards economic recovery, a source noted.
However, Executive Director and Spokesperson for the university, Daniel Okereke, debunked the sack threat, saying "the memo may have been misunderstood; no, that's not the plan at all, no staff member will be fired.”
"The idea behind the Memo you refer to is to boost the numbers, to get many more members of the AUN community to get vaccinated.
"We hope to achieve herd immunity, that is when the majority of people get vaccinated. There is no threat of expulsion, suspension or sanctions against students or staff over routine vaccination.
"AUN has been free of COVID-19 and Management wants it to stay that way. Not many higher institutions are doing as much as AUN to get all community members vaccinated.
"With the support of Government health agencies, AUN has been making the vaccines available for those who are interested. A very large number, including students, have taken the first and second shots, and we have enough vaccines for those requiring a booster shot", he said.