. Faction not recognised yet -Ngige
A new academic labour union in Nigerian university system has been formed with the name Congress of University Academics (CONUA).
The new group has members drawn from Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Federal University, Lokoja and Kwara State University, Molete as members.
The union was, obviously, formed by aggrieved members of the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) who claimed that ASUU had lost track of the main objective of the union.
National Coordinator of the Union, Niyi Ismaheel, told journalists at the end of their first national stakeholder forum at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, that the union was formed to formulate new approach of engagement in addressing the welfare of members and to also put an end to the unnecessary wasting of students’ academic time as a result of frequent strike action.
He said the union was putting necessary documentation in place for official recognition by the university management and the government.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, in a telephone conversation with a journalist in Abuja, on Sunday, said he was aware of the union but confirmed that it was yet to be registered.
He said: “I am aware of the union but it is not registered yet. They submitted their application for registration last April. A committee has been set up by the ministry to look into their request.”
ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, confirmed knowledge of the union and linked it to some members who were sanctioned by ASUU for working against the interest of the union.
“In addition to that, we have realised that some vice chancellors, specifically that of Federal Universities Lokoja and Oye-Ekiti, have vowed to destabilising the union by instigating rebellion against ASUU.
“They have tried all they could in the past to thwart our efforts to have a world class university community in Nigeria. They are now working through some members of the union but they would fail.”