The crisis rocking the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), in the Federal University Oye Ekiti, (FUOYE), Ekiti State has taken another dimension as a new association called Congress of University Academic, (CONUA) has emerged to replace ASUU.
According to a press statement signed by convener of CONUA, in FUOYE, Ige Ogunnniyi Ayodeji, the new association is the new idea within the framework of academics in Nigeria.
The statement reads in part:”Congress of University Academic emerged from the firmament to provide a credible alternative to the Academic Staff Union of Universities who has derailed from its core mandate of protecting and fighting for the welfare of its members and is now on a voyage of new discoveries at both the National and Branch level in FUOYE and we don’t know how far they can travel on this path of shame and ridicule.
Recently, a Congress of ASUU in FUOYE had began an impeachment process against embattled chairperson of the union in the institution, Comrade Akinyemi Omonijo on grounds of misrepresenting them, but Omonijo had dismissed the impeachment process as holding no water. But when called to react to the development with CONUA, he said he was not prepared to make comments on CONUA and would rather react later in the week.
Justifying the emergence of CONUA, Ogunnniyi said further: “The birth of Congress for Universities Academics stems from the extreme lawlessness of the local branch ASUU as well as a competent, and it has been to revealed a shocking proclivity towards banditry and impunity. Therefore, It is becoming clear that the ASUU leadership at this level is seriously challenged in terms of capacity for serious engagement.
“It is good to note that for that past one year the ASUU secretariat has not furnished any of his/her members minutes of meeting either soft or hard copy and check off dues are being deducted from our salaries every month. On the issue of accountability and probity. No member is privy to the financial dealings of the Union and audited account of ASUU has been provided to allay our fears as members on the financial probity of the Union. The Union executives is a law unto itself members lord their opinion over the congress instead of the other way round.”
He also dismissed the press briefing by leaders of ASUU in FUOYE led by embattled chairperson of ASUU, Akinyemi Omonijo, as not representing the views of the ASUU members, saying: “The event that took place in Ado-Ekiti on October 4, 2018 was part of the charade organized by the cabal backed ASUU leadership.
“We are ashamed to identify with the set of people that addressed the press conference as the issues they raised lacked depth and it is an indication that they did not do any rigorous thinking required of an academics before coming to the public domain. Their limited knowledge was exposed when they delved into the issues of Non-remittance of pension deductions of staff and sundry issues.
“This is part of the arrogance of power which is a progeny of ignorance on the part of the leadership which breeds tragedy. We would not have considered responding to the mediocre performance of the ASUU leadership backed by a cabal notorious for evil machinations. We want to avert a looming intellectual tragedy on campus.
“Therefore we members of Congress of University Academic have decided not to keep quiet in the face of this type of oppression and since the Nigerian 1999 constitution by provision of section 40 guarantees freedom of Association. Thus, we the ever strong and articulate academic in FUOYE have decided to align with the congress for University academics, a better alternative to the decaying ASUU.
“We, the members of Congress of Academic Union, Federal University Oye Chapter have keenly followed and monitored the events unfolding within the University in recent times and we find it extremely important to state the following: The congress of Federal University Oye was not consulted in respect of the press conference held by ASUU leadership at Ado-Ekiti on October 4, 2018, all the issues raised in the press conference was not debated, neither was the executive mandated to embark on such activity.
“That the text of the press conference was misleading, factually inaccurate and legally wrong as you cannot put something on nothing. That other activities not limited to the ones raised in the body of the press conference showed that the ASUU Executive in FUOYE backed by a cabal is already heading to towards a wrong direction and the ASUU National sees nothing wrong in backing an Executive already moving in a wrong direction which will not lead the union anywhere, in the process the general public and the minister of education has been fed with wrong information by the National ASUU at the instance of the local ASUU, that we are worried if the activities of the ASUU led executive in FUOYE is left unchecked it may be counter productive to the development of the school.
“We say it loudly and clearly without any ambiguity whatsoever that the birth of congress of University Academics is here and now we have teeming members in the school and events in the weeks ahead will either vindicate us or vilify us,” he said..