The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma chapter, on Friday began an indefinite strike despite opposition from a breakaway body, Congress of University Academics (CONUA).
Some of the university teachers under the umbrella of CONUA had on Wednesday dissociated themselves from the proposed industrial action by ASUU, assuring students and parents that they would be available to teach and research.
But in a statement issued by Monday Igbafen and Anthony Aizebioje, the chairperson and the secretary of ASUU, AAU chapter, respectively, said the strike embarked on midnight of Thursday, March 25, is “total, comprehensive and indefinite”.
The academic body emphasized that they were forced to embark on the strike due to futile attempts to negotiate with the university’s administration and the governing council.
They further said the strike was occasioned by the failure of the university administration and the Edo State government to address matters of habitual non-payment of salaries, check-off dues and other sundry deductions in the university. When put together, according to them, the money runs into billions of naira at the time of the commencement of the strike.
“In particular, the union recalls with sadness the hitherto non-response to the union’s memos seeking audience with the Governor of Edo State and Visitor to the University, Godwin Obaseki, over the salary palaver and other critical issues of governance in the university.
“The current strike is a just cause, given the fact that the worker deserves his or her wages. No amount of threat by agents of University Administration or State Government should be allowed to derail our struggle,” the statement said.
The union, while assuring that a waiver would be granted to the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences to conclude their medical examinations that started on March 24, 2021, however, advised members of the public to ignore information peddled by CONUA about the state of the strike.