By Uche Amunike
As the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) members of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), commence their strike over the refusal of the institution’s management to pay their earned allowances, the ASUU Strike Update is that the chairperson of ASUU on the campus, Mr Egbedokun has confirmed that the strike is total and comprehensive.
This decision was taken after the emergency Congress held by the union at the First Bank lecture Hall, Monday morning, as Egbedokun in the resolution reached after the congress added that industrial action will not be called off without it.
According to them, the school Management which is led by Eyitope Ogunbodede has continued to delay the payment of their earned allowances which have since been paid into the university’s account by the Nigerian government since December 13, 2021.
According to findings by Life and Times, however, there are controversies trailing the ideal formula to be adopted by the Management in sharing the allowances as the ASUU leadership on the campus and that of a splinter faction under the aegis of the Congress of Nigeria universities academics (CONUA) had disagreed strongly.
Even though the two groups designed two different templates with which to share the funds, the university Management insisted on harmonization and went ahead to hold several meetings with the two factions without reaching a resolution, which made the ASUU leadership on the campus accuse them of insincerity.
A memorandum signed by its chairperson, Adeola Egbedokun was shared among its members on Saturday, ascertaining that it had been authorized by the national leadership of the Union to commence the indefinite strike action.
The memorandum titled ‘Update on Disbursement of EAA’, partly stated: ‘We have waited PATIENTLY till Friday 28/01/2022 for the university administration to do the needful with respect to our EAA. Up till this moment, the union is not in receipt of any communication whether on readiness to pay EAA or report of verification exercise’.
‘The Comrade National President and Zonal Coordinator had been communicated. The comrade President has given the permission to the branch to hold a congress to conclude and begin the action we asked for. The President will be awaiting the resolution of the congress as soon as we rise from the meeting. Comrades, notice of congress shall be out very soon. Let us remain resolute and strong. Solidarity forever.’
The ASUU strike update will not be complete without stating the resolution reached by the congress.
Part of the resolution states: ‘Congress noted that there was no serious commitment on the part of the University to effect payment of EAA to deserving members. Congress also noted that all political and diplomatic means to resolve the imbroglia have failed. Consequently, congress resolved that:
‘Total, Comprehensive and Indefinite Strike should commence immediately. The strike must not be called off without a congress resolution to the effect.
‘Payment of EAA must be based on ASUU computation. Anything short of this would be unacceptable. The Strike Coordinating Committee be set up to monitor the strike’.
‘Based on the above and on the strength of the permission granted by ASUU National President, the Chairman, on behalf of the congress declared the commencement of ASUU OAU’s strike at exactly 11:53 am’.
The Management of the university which had earlier described the strike threats made by the union as a ‘family affair’ has however said that they were still watching the events as they unfold, before taking the next step.