NASS wades into ASUU/UniAbuja dispute

The National Assembly has waded into the one week old industrial dispute between the University of Abuja and the Academic Staff Union of Nigeria Universities (ASUU) which declared “indefinite, comprehensive, total strike” over five fundamental demands.

The Committee on Tertiary Education of the House of Representatives invited the management of the University led by Vice Chancellor Professor Abdulraseed Na-Allah and the leadership of the ASUU for dialogue on how to end the industrial action which has crippled activities at the school.

A communique may be issued at the end of the interaction between the lawmakers and members of the University community but ASUU would also brief members before any action will be taken on suspending the strike, Blueprint understands.

Blueprint also observed that the industrial action has divided UniAbuja ASUU into two factions with one group disagreeing with the leadership of the union on the strike and throwing it’s support behind the university.

Speaking with newsmen on the reasons for the strike, the Chairman of ASUU, Comrade Sylvanus Ugo, said, “the vice chancellor deliberately violated laid down regulations on the appointment of deans, the recruitment and promotion of staff, the illegal advertising of the position of vice chancellor in an attempt to install a stooge to replace him. The last matter has to do with ASUU participation in the UniAbuja Micro-Finance Bank.

“The deanship is by election but since the present vice chancellor came, he has refused to allow election to hold. He said he was facing opposition but we told him there is no opposition. He simply handpicked some persons and made them acting deans against the laws of the University.

“The strike took time to be declared. There are processes laid down for strikes and we followed the process meticulously. Let the relevant authorities especially the visitor call the vice chancellor to order. The government should reconstitute the governing councils of the university so that sanity can return to federal universities.”

A member of the splinter ASUU which supports the University leadership, Dr. Abubakar Umar Kari, who is the Dean Students Affairs in
an interview countered the claims of the chairman pointing out that “the strike was not necessarily because the university has started addressing the issues raised by the union.”

He hoped that the intervention of the National Assembly will bring lasting solution to the dispute to enable lectures resume at the University and bring an end to the suffering of students.