The Congress of University Academics (CONUA) on Tuesday dissociated itself from the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ indefinite strike which began on Monday.
ASUU has been locked in a fierce battle with the Federal Government over the latter’s insistence on federal university lecturers enrolling in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System.
The body is also angered by the government’s non-implementation of the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement.
ASUU National President Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi said they opted for an indefinite strike after their warning strike because the FG failed to address the issues they had raised.
But The Congress of University Academic CONUA condemned the strike, saying it would worsen the country’s problems.
In a statement by its National Coordinator, Dr. Niyi Sunmonu, and National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Ernest Nwoke, CONUA described the strike as “utterly insensitive, irresponsible and a betrayal of national trust.”
The breakaway ASUU group directed its members to join the battle to beat coronavirus.
The statement read in part, “The Congress of University Academics members nationwide wish to identify with fellow Nigerians at this trying period and urge everyone to adhere strictly to all precautionary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
“CONUA acknowledges that this is the time when Nigerian academics should be working on overdrive to find solutions to the problems of COVID-19 or at least reduce its virulence.
“CONUA, therefore, regards it as utterly insensitive, irresponsible and a betrayal of the national trust for any academic union to go on strike at this time, especially when another union (the Nigerian Medical Association) that was on strike called it off to respond to the dreadful coronavirus.
“ASUU’s strike will aggravate the country’s problems and deepen national anxiety. Consequently, CONUA strongly dissociates itself from the decision of the ASUU to embark on a nationwide strike in these national and global trying times.
“CONUA wishes to restate for the umpteenth time that we are not members of ASUU, ASUU’s claim of speaking for all members of academics in Nigerian universities is totally incorrect.
“CONUA, therefore, dissociates itself from activities of ASUU, particularly the current declaration of a nationwide strike in this critical period of national and global emergency.”