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Nigerian University Lecturers’ Union, CONUA, Dissociates Self From ASUU Strike

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A breakaway faction of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)- Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA), has dissociated itself from the ongoing strike in Nigerian universities.

In a statement signed by its national coordinator, ‘Niyi Sunmonu, and the national publicity secretary, Ernest Nwoke, CONUA noted that it is not part of its decision to embark on the ongoing strike by ASUU.

The statement read in part: “The Congress of University Academics (CONUA) would like to seize this opportunity to announce its independence as a union of academic staff in Nigeria’s public universities. Being a separate and independent union, it has never been part of the decision to embark on the industrial action which has paralysed academic activities in our universities for five months now”.

CONUA said it believes that strikes have a crippling effect on the Nigerian university system.

It added that the negative effects of the strikes have always been greater than their positive outcomes.

The union added: “Our strongly-held view is that strikes wreak great havoc on the university system, and the concessions that are earned after every strike, over the decades, have amounted to pyrrhic victories when weighed against the systematic destruction of the local and global image of university education in Nigeria.

Our preferred alternatives to strikes in resolving industrial disputes, therefore, include constructive engagement and constant dialogue with all stakeholders.”

“As CONUA, we are of the strong belief that strikes should never be a strategy of first recourse. Their deployment should be contemplated only when all other options have failed, and they should not appear to be motivated by a desire to cause maximum damage.”

The union noted that its members continued with academic activities at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife and Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma after the strike declared by ASUU.

“In fact, before the incident which caused the students to be asked to vacate the campus, most of our members had concluded their lectures. Since it wasn’t our members who declared a strike, lumping us together with those who are on strike is therefore patently unfair,” it said

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