Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) members at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), Anambra State branch, have distanced themselves with an announcement for the resumption of academic activities in the institution.
The Chairman, Okey Aniebo, who addressed journalists after a meeting at the Igbariam campus of the university, yesterday, said apart from solidarity with the ASUU national body, the university lectures have been teaching in a very hazardous manner due to state government’s neglect to their conditions of service and the university environment.
He said abysmal pay and denial of earned allowances are other reasons for the strike. They insisted that with the high cost of fuel, and the muti-campus nature of the institution, their take home pay can no longer take them home.
But, in a swift reaction, the Vice Chancellor, Greg Nwakoby, debunked the lecturers’ claims, insisting that the institution will go ahead with resumption and academic activities.
“First, not all our students are coming back to school. It is only those who have examinations and students of exiting classes that are coming back. Secondly, we are not hesitating in resuming schools. This is government directive and we are following it.
“I will not respond to the imaginary view of the ASUU people who are just out to tarnish the image of the university. If they are on strike or not, the university must exist. We can do without them. You should have asked yourself why only about 41 out of 600 lecturers told you they will not resume. ASUU is on strike because of IPPIS, and we are not running IPPIS here, so why are they going on strike?” the vice chancellor asked.
The group said contrary to insinuations that they were on a solidarity strike with the national ASUU, it decided to down tools because of lack of basic learning aids in the institution and non-payment of some allowances to its members.