From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma chapter, yesterday, advised the newly appointed Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Benson Osadolor not to give a false hope of resumption of academic activities in the institution to students of the university without first resolving the crisis of unpaid salaries, check-off dues and other sundry deductions, which is the sole reason for the current ongoing plethora of strike actions in the institution.
In a swift reaction to the University’s News Bulletin of Wednesday 19th May, 2021, which announced the resumption of academic activities in the institution, effective Monday 24th May, 2021, the university’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), dismissed any possibility of a resumption of academic activities in the institution in the face of the ongoing strike embarked upon by the university teachers.
The union counseled the students to remain at home till the suspension of the strike.
In a statement signed by Dr. Monday Igbafen and Dr. Anthony Coker-Aizebioje, Chairperson and Secretary respectively, the Union said, “It will be counterproductive to open the university for academic activities when our members will not be available to attend to the students or teach because of the on-going strike”, adding that the strike is total, indefinite and comprehensive.
The union advised parents and guardians that “ASUU AAU, Ekpoma is fully on strike and therefore should be guided not to risk the lives of our dear children by allowing them to travel unnecessarily because of a purported resumption of academic activities.”
In the statement, the union insisted that its ongoing strike was hinged on the failure of the university administration and the state government to respond or address the demand on why we are on strike, namely the payment of our unpaid 5 -month salaries and the remittance of our more-than- 13 month unpaid check-off dues and other sundry deductions from our salaries.
“The strike has not been suspended and it would therefore be unwise to bring students back to the deserted university campus, the Union said.
In particular, the union cautioned the new Acting Vice-Chancellor to beware of some desperate power- seeking members of staff who might want to lure or mislead him to belief that the university could open for academic activities with or without the payment of unpaid salaries and other entitlements of workers in the university.
The union stated that as at its Congress meeting of 18th of May, 2021, there was no concrete commitment from concerned authorities to address the demand on why the university lecturers are on strike, namely the non-payment of unpaid 5-month salaries and the non-remittance of more-than-one year check-off dues and other sundry deductions from our salaries, running into billions of naira.
“As a result of the above, Congress unanimously resolved that the strike continues”, the Union added.