…”We will not be stopped by CONUA” – Prof. Osodeke
The Federal Government has presented certificates of registration to two breakaway factions of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU).
The new sub-unions in the academic sector are Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA) and National Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA).
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, presented the certificates to the unions yesterday, at the Minister’s Conference Room, Federal Secretariat, Phase-1, Abuja. The minister explained that the two bodies will exist alongside ASUU.
CONUA, led by its National Coordinator, Niyi Sunmonu, a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, is reported to have been officially registered as a trade union.
The development, according to a source at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the presentation of a certificate of registration to CONUA was a move by the government to de-register ASUU, adding that the FG plans to checkmate Union and its incessant strikes that have grounded public universities in the last seven months.
Recall that ASUU has been on strike since February 14, this year, as lecturers of public universities protest unpaid allowances and demand a better welfare package from the Federal Government.
The FG had earlier in September threatened to withdraw the registration of ASUU as a trade union over its alleged failure to submit its audited reports.
However, in a swift reaction, ASUU said it does not pose any threat to its existence. Its National President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, who stated this while reacting to the news of government’s registration of new unions, said that it is inconsequential as, according to him, his union cannot be threatened with the development. He further claimed that ASUU members are not saboteurs or bootlickers, adding that its members know their vision and mission.
While affirming that ASUU’s struggle is for a better educational system in the country, the University don claimed that if the system is good, everyone will benefit.