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Reactions As FG Approves Factional Groups For ASUU

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The decision of the federal government to approve a faction group for the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has continued to spark social media reactions.

African Examiner writes that ASUU for 232 days and efforts by the federal government and the union to reach an agreement has not yielded any result.

However, it was surprising to many that on Tuesday, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, registered rival groups, the Congress of University Academics, and the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics as trade unions saying that the two trade unions would exist side-by-side with ASUU.

Also, the minister presented certificates of registration to CONUA and NAMDA in Abuja.

CONUA is headed by its National Coordinator, ‘Niyi Sunmonu, a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

According to Ngige, the two unions were entitled to all rights and privileges existing in the university.

He said: “CONUA applied for registration in 2018 and cited irreconcilable differences as it does not believe in recurring strikes as the solution to every welfare agitation.

“It also accused the ASUU executive of non-rendition of accounts of incomes and expenditure for years.

“The Ministry of Labour and Employment set up a committee to look into the merit of their application. The committee saw merit in the application and recommended approval for the registration of the association by the Registrar of Trade Unions in 2020. But for the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recurring ASUU Strike, this would have been done.

“NAMDA, like their colleagues in CONUA, had applied for registration as medical teachers in the university system under various groups.”

ASUU President, Emmanuel Osodeke, in an interview with The PUNCH, described the development as a “plan by the Minister of Labour”.

“For us, it (the registration) is inconsequential, let them go ahead and open the universities. Ngige is just like a child. That is our response. We have nothing to say to them,” Osodeke added.

CONUA, speaking on the development stated that the registration is ‘monumentally historic,’ and they recounted the hurdles they faced since 2018 when CONUA applied for registration.

The statement read in part, “We regard the registration of CONUA as a sacred trust, and pledge to reciprocate by devoting ourselves unceasingly to the advancement of university education in this country.

“We will make the details of our programmes available to the public in due course. For now, we are giving the assurance that we would work to ensure that the nation is not traumatised again by academic union dislocations in the country’s public universities.”

This development has sparked social media reactions as some Nigerians took to the micro-blogging platform to condemn the federal government’s decision to clip the wings of ASUU instead of agreeing to their demands.

@AkwariCharles writes: “Chris Ngige failed, Adamu failed, Nigeria Industrial Court failed, how on earth do they think CONUA will call off the strike? We really have a very bad demented leaders in government. I can’t even stop laughing at the clownery.”

@drpenking writes: “Chris Ngige has speedily recognized the Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA) and National Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA). Instead of actually fixing the education system, APC is doing Divide and Conquer. May GOD save Nigeria.”

@Mizcazorla1 Writes: “On ASUU strike; Ngige failed in his negotiations to get ASUU to call off the strike,Adamu Adamu failed,Femi Gbaja failed. Since all this people failed,why is Buhari not inviting ASUU to find a lasting solution? Oh,I forgot,Buhari kids school abroad.ASUU can go on strike forever.”

@Princeujay writes: “Chris Ngige is a complete Joke! A man who believes Nigeria is his father’s property! Creating a new association Congress of Nigerian University Academics, to override ASUU shows how clueless Buhari cabinet members are! How does this solve FG/ASUU Crisis?”

@Abskilz1 writes: “The handling of ASUU strike by APC govt and Ngige’s action is an affirmation of their track record of fakeness, lies nd deceit. Now,they hv installed another ‘fake Asuu’ in CONUA just to weaken the resolve of the academic staff nd force them to bow out of their legitimate demands.”

@gimbakakanda writes: “You can touch the arrogance of our government officials in their interactions with ASUU and I’m not even a fan of the union. A few days ago, Chris Ngige walked out on ASUU’s representatives midway through a truce meeting led by Gbaja. Adamu Adamu did the same when he hosted NANS.”

@IruefiNG writes: “Nobody goes takes an oath in Okija shrine and comes out normal, Chris Ngige is a perfect example of that. Walking out of a meeting that determines the fate of over 10m students sitting at home for 8 months is the height of madness. Go and appease the gods before you go naked.”

@maaziakuchie writes: “The action of Ngige during the recent meeting with ASUU is all you need to know about the attitude of APC’s handling of pressing issues that needs urgent attention. Imagine walking away from students that just want to go back to the school. Please, aggressively VOTE OUT APC.”

@firstladyship writes: “Saturday Rallies is a cry for help, the only way Nigerian youths can register their frustrations against a country that treats them with contempt. Education Minister, Chris Ngige, walked out of a meeting with ASUU & the legislators. Tell me, can Ngige do that in South Africa?”

@Legal_Spike writes: “Chris Ngige walked out of a meeting and still aggressively tapped the shoulder of a Union leader in a meeting… We have full blown Agberos as leaders, little wonder why the audience they appeal to are the agberos also. Unimaginable Arrogance.”

@Davidfolksy writes: “Ngige insensitive&RUDE.I pity the new associations registered,they are now puppets in the hands of Ngige.OK!now some faculty lecturers will join&return to class while some in ASUU will not. So faculty lecturers In the new association will be in school while ASUU members won’t?”

@OfficialDewale writes: “Ngige has zero skills in dispute resolution… his assistant? Festus Keyamo is too busy answering every Bola Ahmed Tinubu question. Drop those two as ministers today and the #ASUUstrike will end in less than 72 hours.”

@uzo_agu writes: “Federal Government rather than solve the problems of ASUU Dem go rent one idiot, form CONUA, Use Yoruba Guys from OAU to destroy ASUU. You guys Buhari does not care about Universities in Nigeria. Well Ngige does not give a damn.”

@AjayiWizeman writes: “Somebody should tell that Baba Suwe Minister of MisEducation, Chris Ngige, to just resign instead of those old dey jokes of “divide and rule” History and posterity is with ASUU. They will defeat FG!”

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