The Congress of Universities Academic (CONUA) has on Monday urged Vice Chancellors of public universities across the country to call back students for academic activities.
This call is coming after the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) indefinite strike action, which began on Monday March 24 this year, continues to affect all states and federal universities including the Lagos State University (LASU) and the University of Lagos.
The National Secretary of CONUA, Dr Henri Oripeloye, stated this in a media release he issued, where lecturers expressed worries over the persisting strike.
The statement read in part, “Should VCs recall their students now, academic activities will resume without any rancour in public varsities as many lecturers are ready to resume since they have complied with government’s directive on IPPIS.”
Titled ‘ASUU: Breakaway faction begs VCs to recall students for academic activities’, the statement quoted Oripeloye as speaking during a press conference at the Federal University Oye Ekiti.
According to Oripeloye, who lectures at the Obafemi Awolowo University, lle-lfe Osun State, apart from members of the body, there are those (lecturers) who don’t belong to any Union and are willing to teach.
The national secretary added, “We reject in strong terms, the claims that we are members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities. We are an independent union on university campuses in Nigeria.”
He, however, mentioned that “We commend the National University Commission for directing the opening of Universities nationwide. We want our universities to be reopened so that they will not be left behind in the scheme of things”.
For Oripeloye “CONUA believes in constructive and objective engagement with the government rather than strike.
He further outlined one of CONUA’s dreams as strike action as a weapon to force government’s attention should become history. “We don’t know anything about UTAS, we believe in fruitful interaction with the government and to achieve our requests from the government.
He emphasised that CONUA has no conflict with ASUU. “The two unions only differ in terms of philosophy and ideology which is reflecting in their approach to getting the government to accede to requests.
“And this is being done on the issue of IPPIS as CONUA has been interacting with the government on how to solve many of the problems that have been identified with the platform.”Follow us on social media