CONUA accuses ASUU of spreading lies

The crisis that is shaking the Obafemi Awolowo University (OUA)Ile-Ife, over the late payment of earned academic allowance escalated further during the week as national leaders of the two University Academic Staff Union (ASUU) and its rival faction, the Congress of Nigerian Academics (CONUA) engaged in the war of words.

On-campus CONUA President ‘Niyi Sunmonu while clarifying what he labeled an allegation that his union devised a separate model for the disbursement of EAA, accused the ASUU National President , Emmanuel Osodeke, to fuel the crisis on campus.

Mr. Sunmonu, who also serves as CONUA’s national coordinator, also blamed Mr. Osodeke for factionalizing the OAU branch of ASUU, saying his on-campus mission to intervene in an internal crisis in the within the union a few years ago, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. camel back.

But Mr Osodeke called the allegation false, describing CONUA as a group of “liars, pretenders and an embodiment of illegality”.

Allegations

Mr Sunmonu, in a statement on Wednesday, accused Mr Osodeke, a professor, of peddling lies, saying the ASUU leader had falsely accused his union of developing an alternative payment model.

Mr Summonu said it was the university’s ASUU chapter that deviated from the EAA’s known payment model, accusing the chapter of creating a different model and that he tried to change it. force swallow other teachers.

The CONUA statement reads in part: “The fact is that it was the ASUU branch of the OAU that departed squarely from the form devised by its national body as a result of the ASUU/ federal government of 2009.

“He did this by designing a Google form for his members. They tried to impose this on CONUA members and it was resisted. ASUU OUA continued to insist that any academic staff who refuses to complete this form Google will not receive their due academic allowance earned.

Speaking about Mr Osodeke’s role in the crisis that has rocked the institution, the statement adds; “We at CONUA are not surprised by this, however, because such things have become Osodeke’s hallmark. For example, in 2016, when he led an ASUU committee to the OAU to investigate the crisis in the branch, Osodeke delivered a report that was completely at odds with the facts on the ground at the time. ‘WOW.

“His report ended up adding fire to the crisis on the ground. Osodeke is in fact a fundamental factor in the OAU crisis.

Osodeke fires back

In his reaction to the allegation, Mr. Osodeke, who spoke to our reporter by telephone, accused the CONUA members of “wanting him to then ignore the facts of the case, but to write a relationship that favors them”.

He said; “So when I went there at that time, they had the exact same crisis about who would become the vice-chancellor, and our union was playing a negative role. So we went there and told them says exactly what to do; that as a union it should not think of a vice-chancellor of a particular state, tribe or village.

“We said they should think of a vice-chancellor who would serve everyone; one that would develop the university not based on religion or the state. That’s what we reported. But those of our colleagues who were involved in the idea of ​​promoting people on the basis of religion or tribe were not happy with us. Today we have been justified.

He urged the Ministry of Education and the National Universities Commission (NUC) to declare CONUA illegal and dissolve it.

He said; “They’re liars. They’re pretenders and they’re bogus and illegal. And usually the Department of Education or NUC has to step in, because you can’t allow an illegal group to be run in a university and the VC supports them and creates problems in this university.

“We are in a country where people believe in lying. We believe that when you write a report, write in favor of those in authority. That’s what they believe. But people like us who believe in the truth and tell it as it is, a lot of people don’t like us. CONUA members are therefore the kind of people who believe that you have to do something according to what the authorities tell you.

“And is there anything like CONUA that is registered in the Nigerian system? There are not any. So it’s a bogus group, an illegal group that’s being encouraged by this vice-chancellor. According to the Trade Unions Act, in order for you to operate as a trade union, you must be registered. But without registration, CONUA has been there for a long time causing crises on campus. The OAU is one of the best in the country, but today they destroyed it. You can go there and check, they destroyed this place. These are the same people who work with the ruling VC.

Ignore any new EAA forms, ASUU tells members

Meanwhile, ASUU has ordered its members not to complete another set of forms designed by university management in an effort to pay the stipend.

The new leadership model was a decision taken during the meeting held on Tuesday with some of the university’s academic staff by the Vice-Chancellor, Eyitope Ogunbodede.

In his second strike bulletin, released on Friday, campus union president Adeola Egbedokun also warned department heads not to fill out forms on behalf of ASUU members.

He said: “Leaders have come to the attention that an illegal group of people are suggesting that Google’s ghost form be filled out by proxy. Members should be careful not to fall for this deception. Let’s kindly warn our HoDs or colleagues not to fill out forms for us by proxy.”

He said ASUU completed and submitted its forms to the university as early as December 2021.

“We must reiterate that our members should not fill out any Google Forms apart from the one designed by the union as this is a charade that will not benefit anyone. We have since completed our calculation and are looking forward to our payment,” Egbedokun added.

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The payment of teachers’ Acquired Academic Allowances, which have been deposited in the school’s accounts since December 13, has been controversial for weeks on campus.

Payment model

Mr. Egbedokun said his union is not against paying EAA to other academic staff, but payment should be made using the template designed by ASUU.

Parts of Friday’s statement read: “It is very important to make it clear that the union is not against paying the EAA to deserving academic staff, the union’s position is that every member should be subject to the same model and the only acceptable and recognized model is that designed by ASUU.

“The union will continue to monitor the activities of the university administration with respect to the disbursement of the EAA and will ensure that our money is disbursed in accordance with the model and calculation submitted by ASUU. Any payment made contrary to this will attract the ire of the syndicate and every misapplied kobo will be reclaimed.

The ASUU described Mr. Ogunbodede’s earlier assertion that the ASUU calculation was full of discrepancies as false, saying; “We also interacted with the university’s audit unit and for over two weeks nothing came of their so-called audit exercise.”

During the meeting with academic staff held on Tuesday with the vice-chancellor, Mr Egbedokun said that contrary to the university’s claims that up to 400 academic staff were present, the oversight committee of the ASUU strike reported “fewer than 250 people (out of approximately 1,280 university academic staff) present”.

He said the attendees were mostly the leadership team and non-members of ASUU, describing the university’s claim as “another propaganda to support their sinking ship.”

Despite the strike, the conferences continue

Although ASUU said more than 90% of lectures and statutory meetings have been suspended on campus due to its ongoing strike, PREMIUM TIMES has learned that some lecturers have continued to work.

For example, in the Civil Engineering department, a student said that the CVE 403 test was written on Monday and the CVE 411 test was written on Wednesday.

Another student told PREMIUM TIMES that in the chemistry department, CHM405, CHM 423, all held during the week.

One of the CHM427 lecturers also took the course, while the other lecturer did not. However, CHM403 and CHM407 did not hold.

In the Quantitative Studies department, a student said that all classes were held during the week except for QTS 411.

For the physics department, another student said that lectures were held for EPH 401, PHY 403, PHY 421 and PHY 409.

Peaceful protest

Meanwhile, on Thursday, after a meeting at the First Bank Lecture Theatre, ASUU-OAU members were joined by their members from Benin, Akure, Lagos and Ibadan areas, to stage a peaceful protest on the university campus.

Videos seen by PREMIUM TIMES showed ASUU buses from Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) and Adekunle Ajasin University, Akunga (AAUA) accompanying protesters.

ASUU said it would use all means available to ensure that any money disbursed using an “illegal” calculation would be fully refunded.

Egbedokun also accused the university management of using to divide and rule tactics to cause discord among academic staff.

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