UNIZIK ASUU Break Into Factions Over National Strike

Source: Osun Defender

THE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, Anambra State, is divided over the on-going nationwide strike by the body. Two factions of the body in the institution, one led by Prof. Ike Odimegwu and the other, Committee of ASUU Progressives, led by Prof. Maduabuchi Dukor, maintained opposing positions. Dukor’s faction, comprising Prof. Edmund Egboh, Dr. Achunam Nwabueze, Prof. Emma Akuezuiloh and Dr. Jerry Emejulu, among others, said they were standing down the strike for now so as to complete the on-going second semester examinations in the university. Describing the industrial action as ill-timed, the progressives noted that if UNIZIK joins the strike now, “it would be very suicidal to the interest of the students, parents, stakeholders and the entire university”.

They pointed out that it would negatively affect the university’s effort for accreditation in certain disciplines. “More so such would affect our final year law and medical students who would be prevented from attending the Nigerian Law School and Housemanship programmes respectively.” They disclosed their readiness to join the strike immediately after the examinations, with due consultation with the stakeholders. Dukor appealed to the Federal Government to look into the demands of ASUU to restore and guarantee a conducive atmosphere for character and learning in the universities nationwide. Odimegwu’s faction announced joining of the strike yesterday during the congress held at the multi-purpose hall of the institution.

He said the decision was in the line with the resolution of ASUU, NEC meeting held at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye last month, directing all university campuses to proceed on nationwide strike. “Today, we have commenced on a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike. All academic activities, including lectures, supervision of projects, theses at all levels and so on, have been suspended on the campus,” Odimegwu said.

According to him, ASUU’s action is to compel the Federal Government to implement the agreement reached with the union in October 2009: progressive increase of yearly budgetary allocation to education to 26 per cent between 2009 and 2020. He said other demands are setting up research and development units by companies operating in Nigeria, and teaching and research equipment provision to our laboratories and classrooms and federal assistance to state universities.

“Federal Government has reneged on our agreement, the result is the use of outdated and broken wooden benches in lecture halls, lack of furniture, among others, while our universities look like road side primary schools,” he said

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