7 November 2018

Nigeria: ASUU Strike - OAU Management, Non-Teaching Staff React to Division Among Lecturers

The management of Obafemi Awolowo University has declared that students should disregard the directive of the school's chapter of Academic Staff Union of universities (ASUU), which stated that they should vacate the campus.

The OAU ASUU chairman, Adeola Egbedokun, after a meeting held on Tuesday, declared a total strike in compliance with the nation-wide industrial action declared its national body.

"We love our students and they should go home because we don't want them to be victims of whatever action that will accompany the strike," Mr Egbedokun said.

It should be recalled that the ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi, on Sunday, gave poor funding for Revitalisation of Public Universities based on the FGN-ASUU Memorandum of Understanding of 2012, 2013, and the Memorandum of Action of 2017, as the main reason for the industrial action.

"The strike is total and comprehensive. No teaching, No examination, and No attendance at statutory meetings of any kind (Senate, Council, College/Faculty Departmental Boards etc)," he said, in a statement.

Division Among Lecturers

PREMIUM TIMES also reported the division among OAU lecturers on the decision to join the Industrial action, or not.

While members of ASUU are in support, some lecturers under the aegis of Congress of Nigerian Universities' Academics (CONUA) are against it.

According to the university's registrar, Margaret Omosule, in a statement issued on Tuesday, there are no plans to compel students to vacate the campus until the end of year holidays.

"(We) wish to assure all students that the University Academic Calendar for the 2017/2018 Academic Session is very much on course. There are no plans to compel students to vacate the campus until the end of year holidays and all members of the University community must be unanimous in the resolution to ensure that the Calendar remains sacrosanct."

"The University Management therefore enjoins all students and staff to continue their normal activities in line with the University's approved guidelines," the registrar noted.

However, PREMIUM TIMES gathered that some lecturers have refused to attend lectures and some who attended were sent out on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, in a telephone conversation with PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday, the chairman of the Nigerian Universities Administrative and Technical Staff Union (NUATSU), Wole Odewumi, said the non-teaching staff members are not against the strike action declared by ASUU.

"It is because we have not received anything from our national body. We can also join because unions should be able to make their demands and grievances known without being victimised. We strongly support the ASUU Strike."

He said before the week runs out, they could join ASUU in a sympathy protest.

Also, the chairman of CONUA, Niyi Sumonu, restated the stance of the union, which is against embarking on the industrial action declared by ASUU. "Our members are not under ASUU so they cannot be part of the strike. We were not approached on the issue and cannot be part of the strike. Our members still respect statutory duties."

When asked about some of the CONUA lecturers, who were stopped by ASUU members from attending lectures, Mr Sumonu denied the knowledge of such.

"I don't have such information with me now," he said.

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