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AAU chapters of ASUU, CONUA disagree over strike

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Ambrose Alli University (AAU)

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Congress of University Academics (CONUA) at the Ambrose Alli University (AAU) Ekpoma, Edo State, have disagreed over the former’s proposed industrial action.

Chairman of ASUU, Dr. Monday Igbafen, and Secretary, Dr. Azebioje-Coker Anthony, had directed all members to proceed on an indefinite and total strike from Thursday, March 25, 2021 (yesterday) upon conclusion of the ongoing examinations in the university.

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ASUU had remained resolute on the proposed strike, which it insisted, was to protest against non-payment of over four months salary arrears, non-remittance of check-off dues, and sundry deductions for almost a year.

But in a statement issued in Benin City, Chairman of CONUA, Iyawe Hanson and Secretary, Nwoke Ernest, said its members would not participate in the strike, adding that they would continue to go to work.

It assured students and parents that embarking on strike at a time when a White Paper to chart a pathway for the AAU was being formulated from the Visitation Panel’s report, would be inimical to the progress of the university and antithetical to the spirit of the panel.

“As a stakeholder in the institution, it has come to the knowledge of CONUA, AAU chapter, through a circulating resolution of its emergency congress of March 21, 2021, as released by ASUU, directing its members to proceed on indefinite strike, from Thursday, March 25, 2021, as a rude surprise.

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“CONUA is not unaware of the several letters ASUU had written to Governor Godwin Obaseki to address the financial hiccups of the institution. In a meeting convened to address ASUU’s demands, the governor constituted a seven-man special visitation panel with specific terms of reference.

“It is also aware that government has received the panel’s report and is being processed to enable it to release a White Paper and convene a stakeholder meeting to chart a pathway for AAU on April 30,” the statement reads.

It, therefore, admonished students to remain committed to their studies and examinations that would certainly continue and urged all lovers of the university to protect those who want to work and save the institution, alleging that a syndicate had been formed to enforce the strike.

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