ASUU reacts to the registration of CONUA and NAMDA by the FG
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has stated that the government’s registration of two new trade unions for academic staff in the university system is insignificant and poses no threat to its existence.
Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, National President of ASUU, stated this in a conversation with Vanguard in response to the registration of the two new unions.
“That does not in any way affect us. We are a disciplined and focused union and we know what we are doing and what we are after. Let them register as many unions as they like. That is inconsequential as far as we are concerned. We are not also in any way threatened. The sky is big enough for birds to fly.
“We know our members, we know our strength, and we also know what our vision and mission are. Our members are not saboteurs or bootlickers. Our struggle is for a better educational system in the country. If the system is good, all of us will benefit, and it is not only ASUU members’ children and wards that are going to benefit from improved funding and the provision of better facilities in our institutions,” he said.
Allegations of complicity in corruption:
Osodeke, who also reacted to the allegation by the Presidency that ASUU members are complicit in the corrupt practices in the university system, described such as unfounded.
“As a union, we have been championing transparency and accountability in the university system. That is why we are calling for the adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, as the payment platform in the university system. Those indicted for misappropriating over N100 billion through their IPPIS, are they our members?
“Moreover, one of our demands is that Visitation Panels be set up to probe the activities and the finances of universities in the country. If we don’t want corruption stamped out, we would not be asking for that, ” he explained.
CONUA’s reaction to registration
In a statement signed by the National Coordinator of CONUA, Dr Niyi Sunmonu, described the registration as monumental and historic.
“The registration of the Congress of University Academics (CONUA), as a trade union in the Nigerian university system, is monumentally historic. The hurdles we have faced to get here, since 2018 when we submitted our application for registration, have been seemingly insurmountable. The registration is therefore the validation of the power of the human will. It asserts the value of courage, initiative, focus, tenacity, patience, forbearance, and persistent positive thinking.
“We are immensely grateful to the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, and his team of diligent staff for insisting on merit, due process, and thoroughness all through the processing of our application for the registration of CONUA. The very strict and dispassionate review of our application brought out the best in the membership of the union.
“We regard the registration of CONUA as a sacred trust and pledge to reciprocate by devoting ourselves unceasingly to the advancement of university education in this country. We will make the details of our programs available to the public in due course. For now, we are giving the assurance that we will work to ensure that the nation is not traumatized again by academic union dislocations in the country’s public universities.
“We are also deeply grateful to the numerous personalities and well-wishers whose good counsel and concrete actions have facilitated the success we have witnessed today. We believe in the saying that to whom much is given, much is expected. We would therefore constantly strive to make them all proud of CONUA.
“We appreciate the entire membership of the union for believing in the righteousness of the CONUA cause and for believing in the leadership of the union, and for thereby remaining statutorily steadfast, even when disconcerting and demoralizing situations arose.”
“In this journey, the invaluable role of the media cannot be discounted. We are truly grateful to the media and look forward to furthering mutually beneficial interactions as we strive for the development of this nation.”
“Above all, we are absolutely grateful to Almighty God for granting us this grace.
“God bless you all.”