Strike: ASUU Threatens to Sanction Erring Vice-Chancellors

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National President of ASUU, Prof Abiodun Ogunyemi

Hamid Adedeji

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened that it would sanction some university Vice-Chancellors who may have been “uncooperative” in the ongoing strike by the lecturers.

ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said this yesterday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

NAN reported that ASUU had commenced an indefinite strike on November 5, 2018, demanding for increased funding of the university education by the federal government.

Ogunyemi was reacting to the allegation that some vice-chancellors have been intimidating lecturers in their institution and have ordered them back to the classroom, while some have reportedly commenced examinations.

According to him, the union may be preparing for a confrontation with some of the vice-chancellors that have defaulted and failed to cooperate.

“The attitude of some of these vice-chancellors is worrisome; the union will be prepared to engage such vice-chancellor when the ongoing strike is suspended or called off, ” he said. He expressed regret over some members of the union, who choose to betray their conscience by opting out of the strike.

He added that such members who may be aggrieved ought to take opportunity of available internal mechanism for resolving such crisis, saying that the union will address the issues at the appropriate time.

Ogunyemi, however, noted that there are reasons some members may have opted out of the action in some campuses.

According to him, some vice-chancellors are uncooperative even though they will benefit in the university system what ASUU is agitating for.

“In some places, some of them will misapply the fund. That is why there will continue to be crisis, so when we go back, we are going to engage many of the vice-chancellors. “Like in some state universities, their governors are playing the ostrich, pretending to be funding their universities.

“Today, we call many state universities are TETFund universities because the bulk of their capital projects in the last ten years came from TETFund support and lately, the NEEDS assessment grant.

“Governors, who own such universities, will be giving their vice-chancellors directive to go and open the universities.

“They are just not being sincere to themselves because they are actually not doing what is expected of them.

“Another reason is because some of our members are aggrieved for reasons best known to them. Some have threatened to pull out of ASUU and go their own way. “When you take it on the balance, you find out that within their inner self, they are not opposed to what we are asking for because the Earned Academic Allowances will go to them, revitalisation fund and the salary shortfall, it will be refunded to them,” he said.

According to him, at the end of the day, it is a matter of conscience. Some of our members are, like you find in any group, those who betray their conscience. We cannot stop them because they are exercising their
right.

“But for those who pretend to be with us and are not with us, we will take them through our process at the appropriate time because every organisation has its own disciplinary mechanism,” he said.