Why we won’t boycott strike in Ojukwu varsity – ASUU

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), Igbariam, Anambra State, has promised not to withdraw from the ongoing strike by the national body  of the union despite directives to the contrary.

The chairperson of the body, Prof Alphonsus Aniebo, stated this on Friday during a solidarity visit of the Owerri Zone executive of the body to the institution over alleged threats by the institution’s management over the strike.

He accused the management of coercing members to abandon the national strike, saying the university had benefited immensely from several agitations and demands of the parent body.

According to him, any decision to boycott the strike would spell doom for the members in view of the unfair treatment from the institution, including denial of entitlements.

He said, “Don’t be surprised if I’m sacked any moment from  now. My life and job are in danger, but if they kill me or sack me, another ASUU executive will spring up in this university.

“The strike is not about Prof Aniebo. It’s about saving our public universities from destruction. We don’t have the resources to train our children abroad or in private universities; public universities are our only hope to give our children an education.

“Most of the projects in the university are products of ASUU’s struggle. Yet the management is asking us to abandon the national union. If we abandon ASUU, we’ll die.

“We have lots of internal problems that are yet to be attended to. There’s no budget monitoring committee at the university. There’s no retirement programme for anybody here. Some lecturers become sick when they remember their retirement is coming.”

Coordinator, Owerri zone, Comrade Uzor Onyebinanma of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike Umuahia, Abia State expressed disappointment with the management of the institution for using armed security men to harass them.

He said, “When we came here for our Congress, the VC sent armed persons to send us away from the hall. Congress has been holding here since 2006.

“Even when we came out under the tree, the same armed persons came to tell us we don’t have the right to stand under the tree, even as lecturers in the university; that we should leave.

“This is actually a Zonal solidarity visitation to ASUU COOU, because so many complaints have come to the zone as to the actions of the VC in suppressing the branch.”