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Ojukwu Varsity ASUU Factions Divided Over Fresh Strike



Don’t Back Down On Your Strike Action, Rights Lawyer Tells ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, chapter of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra, is currently divided over move to embark on a fresh strike.

Naija News reports that while a faction of the association said it is fully ready for the industrial action, another said it is bad in totality to welcome the Governor-elect, Charles Soludo administration which such an academic break.

The two factions led by Prof. Okey Aniebo and Prof. Osita Chiaghanm reportedly met in separate congresses on Tuesday and arrived at different conclusions.

Prof. Okey Aniebo’s faction is said to have started its meeting at the Union Secretariat, showing its readiness to join the national body on the strike over the welfare of its members.

Naija News learnt that Aniebo’s group meeting was distracted by some lecturers and had to move its meeting to the university main gate where it addressed the media.

At the school gate, some school security personnel reportedly made attempts to also disrupt them but they were rebuffed by the lecturers.

Addressing other members of his group supporting the strike action, Aniebo said the university was underfunded by the state government for which the survival of the institution had been sustained by TETFund and Needs Assessment Fund both of which were products of past ASUU struggles.

The chairman said some ASUU members who participated in the past ASUU nationwide strike action are still owed four months salaries by the COOU management in defiance of the condition that no members would be victimised.

He explained further that lecturers in the university had not received Earned Academic Allowance and that they had no hope of pension because the employee component of the contributory pension was not being remitted.

Aniebo regretted that instead of addressing the genuine yearnings of ASUU, COOU management was bent on killing the union by intimidating members and using some colleagues to divide the union.

He urged the Federal Government to implement the existing agreements with ASUU and avoid another industrial action which would be the last resort.

He said: “As you have witnessed, agents of the Vice-Chancellor for the second time have disrupted our lawful meeting at the Union’s Secretariat, our members are intimidated into not joining our meetings.

“Poor funding has not been adequately addressed at the Federal level while state-owned universities like COOU have been abandoned at the mercy of the TETFund and NEEDS Assessment Intervention funds.

“As a tradition of our great Union, this press conference is an early warning shot that we are reluctantly being driven to the point of entering another vicious cycle barely one year since the last traumatic experience,” he said.

However, the other faction led by Chiaghanam maintained that the strike is uncalled for.

He described the Aniebo and members of his faction as pretender unionists, vowing not to welcome the incoming administration in Anambra with industrial action.

Chiaghanam who is also the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the university said the only goal of the faction was to truncate the industrial harmony in the university and erode all gains of the university’s stable academic calendar.