ASUU, CONUA differ on strike action at AAU

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The Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Edo State, chapter of the Congress of University Academics (CONUA), has distanced itself from the proposed strike by its sister union, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The AAU chapter of ASUU had on Tuesday last week disclosed that it would embark on a strike by midnight of Thursday, March 25, upon conclusion of the ongoing examinations in the university.

ASUU’s grouse which informed the proposed strike action include over four months salary arrears being owed them by the state government, non-remittance of check-off dues and sundry deductions for close to a year by the trustees, principal officers and zonal coordinators of the union.

But in a statement made available to newsmen in Benin City on Wednesday and endorsed by Iyawe Hanson and Nwoke Ernest, chairman and secretary of CONUA, respectively, the split union said that any industrial action at this point in time would be “insensitive “ to the plights of students, whose parents had managed to pay their fees.

The breakaway association assured both students and parents that its members would not participate in the purported strike, adding that they would be available to teach and research.

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The body explained that the commencement of strike at a time when a White Paper to chart a pathway for the university was being formulated from the submitted Visitation Panel’s report would be inimical to the progress of the institution and antithetical to the spirit that led to the constitution of the panel.

“As a stakeholder in the affairs of Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, it has come to the knowledge of the Congress of University Academics (CONUA), AAU chapter, vide a circulating resolution of its emergency congress of March 21, 2021, as released by a sister union, the Academic Union of Universities, (ASUU), directing her members to proceed on an infinite strike, commencing from midnight of Thursday, March 25, 2021, as a rude surprise”, the splinter union stated.

“The union is also not oblivious of the several letters written by this same ASUU leadership to the Visitor to the university, Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo State to address the financial hiccups of the institution. The Visitor in his wisdom and in meeting the demand of ASUU, constituted a 7-man special visitation panel headed by Omoruyi with given terms of reference. CONUA is aware that government is now in receipt of the panel’s report and is undergoing processing to enable a White Paper release and subsequent convention of all stakeholders to meet to chart a pathway for Ambrose Alli University by April 30″.

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“Students are advised to remain committed to their lectures and exams that will certainly continue. We call on all lovers of the Ambrose Alli University to protect those who want to work and save the institution as we are aware that syndicate that has been formed to enforce this very unpopular strike,” CONUA assured.

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