UniAbuja Strike: CONUA dissociates self, says action baseless

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By Funmilayo Adeyemi

The Congress of University Academics (CONUA), University of Abuja Chapter, has dissociated itself from the ongoing strike  by the university branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The Chairman, CONUA, University of Abuja Chapter, Prof. Abdul Buba, said this when the group paid a courtesy visit to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah in Abuja on Friday.

Buba said the university system could not be grounded because it had no Governing Council, a decision that informed the industrial action.

“We believe in stable academic calendar and that’s why we believe that there are other ways of handling labour issues rather than strike actions.

“CONUA addresses issues and not personalities. We also respect opinions of our members and not a predetermined objective of the leadership.

”We address issues without sentiments and meet with the right stakeholders in the pursue of our objectives.

“We are conscious of the negative effects of strikes, and we believe in deploying relevant strategies that will yield positive results in modern age of innovation,” he said.

He added that CONUA would continue to engage relevant stakeholders to pursue legitimate welfare for its members without dabbling with issues not of the concern to its members.

“The ongoing strike in place in the university, CONUA is not part of it because we believe in academic and service delivery.
“All these five points for the strike are baseless.
“Let me start with the issue of advertorial for the position of vice chancellor, initially if it were that the council is in place everything about employment both the employees and the principal officers start and end with the university governing council.
“But in the absence of the university governing council, the law has no provision for the vice chancellor to appoint any successor so it is the responsibility of the government to do that. So, there is no way the VC can be accused.
“This is because even the advertorial, if you watch and other advertorial that were placed by other universities, it was mentioning the ministry representing the government so this is baseless,” he said.

Also, the CONUA Secretary, Prof. Issa Abdulraheem, urged the union to focus on the welfare of its members which was the sole role of establishing a union.

“The union is established to cater for the welfare of its members, all the issues raised by the other union are baseless and have nothing to do with the staff welfare.
“And so we believe that we have ways of handling issues with stakeholders without sentiments of personalising issues. All the points raised by the other unions are not in the interest of its members,”he said.
On his part, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah,  appreciated CONUA for its stance in not joining the strike, hoping that academic programme by ASUU would commence soon.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the University of Abuja ASUU branch had embarked on a total and indefinite strike on May 2 over alleged university’s refusal to conduct elections for the office of the Dean’s of faculties and Provost College of Health Sciences.
The Union also accused the university of carrying out promotion of some staffers without following due process.
Other reasons for the strike, according to the Union include, “Advertorial of the vacancy of the post of the Vice Chancellor without following due process, among others. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
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Edited by AbdulFatai Beki/Isaac Aregbesola

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