By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
The Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma chapter, of Congress of University Academics (CONUA), has rejected the proposed strike by its sister union, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Recall that the AAU chapter of ASUU had last week Tuesday disclosed that it would embark on strike on midnight of Thursday, March 25, upon conclusion of the ongoing examinations in the University.
Their demands include payment of 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, CONUA in a statement on Wednesday, endorsed by Iyawe Hanson and Nwoke Ernest, chairman and secretary respectively, said an industrial action at this point in time is “insensitive” to the plight of students whose parents have managed to pay their fees.
The association assured both students and parents that its members will not participate in the proposed strike, adding that they will be available to teach and research.
The body explained that the commencement of strike at this time when a “white paper” to chart a pathway for the university is being formulated from the submitted visitation panel’s report is 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, directing her members to proceed on an infinite strike, commencing from midnight of Thursday, March 25, 2021, as a rude surprise.
“The union is also not oblivious of the several letters written by this same ASUU leadership to the visitor of 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 al stakeholders to meet to chart a pathway for Ambrose Alli University by April 30.
“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,” the statement said.