The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, has reacted to the registration of the Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA), a factional academic union by the federal government, on Tuesday, October 4.
Osodeke while fielding questions from reporters said ASUU is unbothered about the development as the new union is inconsequential and does not pose any threat to its existence. He further stated that the registration of the factional union is unconstitutional.
“That does not in any way affect us. We are a disciplined and focused union and we know what we are doing and what we are after. Let them register as many unions as they like. That is inconsequential as far as we are concerned. We are not also in any way threatened. The sky is big enough for birds to fly.
We know our members, we know our strength and we also know what our vision and mission are. Our members are not saboteurs or bootlickers . Our struggle is for a better educational system in the country. If the system is good, all of us will benefit and it is not only ASUU members’ children and wards that are going to benefit from improved funding and the provision of better facilities in our institutions,” he said.
The union leader also reacted to President Buhari’s recent comment about ASUU members being complicit in corrupt practices in the university system saying the allegations were unfounded.
“As a union, we have been championing transparency and accountability in the university system. That is why we are calling for the adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, as the payment platform in the university system. Those indicted for misappropriating over N100 billion through their IPPIS, are they our members?
Moreover, one of our demands is that Visitation Panels be set up to probe the activities and the finances of universities in the country. If we don’t want corruption stamped out, we would not be asking for that, ” he explained.