… as varsity lecturers threaten to sue zonal ASUU
The Congress of Universities Academic (CONUA), a break-away faction of the Academic Staff of Universities (ASUU), has called on the Vice-Chancellors of the various public universities in the country to immediately recall students back to schools for academic activities.
CONUA which criticized the continued non-recall of students across the country, said its members were not on strike.
Briefing journalists at the auditorium of the Law Faculty of the Federal University Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), the National Secretary of CONUA, Dr Henri Oripeloye who led members from various universities to the press conference, said that apart from members of the body, there are others who do not belong to any union and are willing to teach.
“We reject in strong terms, the claims that we are members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), we are independent union on university campuses in Nigeria.
“We commend the National University Commission (NUC), for directing the opening of Universities nationwide.
“We want our universities to be reopened so that they will not be left behind in the scheme of things,” he said in a statement emailed to Persecondnews.
Oripeloye, who lectures at the Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU) lle-lfe, Osun State, said CONUA believes in constructive and objective engagement with government rather than strike.
He disclosed that they had enrolled into the IPPIS after consultations with the relevant organs of government and their concerns were being addressed by the Federal Government.
Stating that one of CONUA’s main dreams is that strike action as a weapon to force government’s attention should become history, he said : “We don’t know anything about UTAS, we believe in fruitful interaction and with the government and a to achieve our requests from government.”
Oripeloye assured that should VCs recall their students now, academic activities will resume without any rancour in public varsities as many lecturers are ready to resume since they have complied with government’s directive on IPPIS.
On the relationship between the two unions, the OAU don said CONUA has no conflict with ASUU, adding that the two unions only differ in terms of philosophy and ideology which is reflecting in their approach to getting government to accede to their requests.
“This is being done on the issue of IPPIS as CONUA has been interacting with the government on how to solve many of the problems that have been identified with the platform.”
Oripeloye also condemned the harassment and intimidation of CONUA members across some universities especially at the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, saying this should stop forthwith.
In another development, CONUA FUOYE branch, has given the Akure Zonal ASUU, 14 days ultimatum to either retract or prove the allegation that it has secret pact within the management of the institution.
Briefing newsmen at the weekend at Oye Ekiti, the Convener of CONUA, Ayodeji Ige said that the union’s legal counsel had been instructed to write the Zonal ASUU leadership to substantiate its claims or be ready to face legal action.
“You will recall a publication that went viral on social media via a national daily on October 20, 2020 where the coordinator of ASUU Akure Zone told the world that CONUA has a secret pact with FUOYE management.
“This damaging statement constitutes a campaign of calumny against a budding union such as CONUA. We therefore strongly frown at it.”
Ige said that Akure Zonal ASUU was making such damaging remarks because, “we have adopted an approach that is different from the militant, confrontational and hostile approach of ASUU.”