OAU Lecturers Divided Over ASUU Strike, Faction Boycotts
As the 7-day warning strike declared by the national body of the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) enters its second day, a faction of the lecturers at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Osun state have boycotted the nationwide strike.
Channels Television’s visit to the university revealed that students are currently having their first semester examination for the 2015/16 academics session under the supervision of the lecturers.
Speaking on the strike and their reason for not joining, the chairman of the Committee of Deans in OAU, Professor Adeagbo Amusan, said that the boycott was in the interest of the students, who had wasted so much time since the start of the session due to incessant strike.
“It’s a unanimous decision that much as we are aware of the directive of NEC, we would want our examinations to go on unhindered. We key into the national body of ASUU but we have some local issues to sort out here and we don’t want to externalize our internal affairs.
“We agreed on compassionate level having lost a lot of ground that we need to consider the plight of our students. Because we ought to have had this exams this time last year,” he said.
However, a factional chairman of ASUU, OAU chapter, Niyi Sunmonu claimed that the directive to embark on a warning strike was not communicated to his committee.
“The directive from the national ASUU was not directed to us, but as faithful ASUU members we still considered it at our congress. And the decision of the congress was that since we were not communicated officially, the referendum to go on strike or not was not before us”.
It was an entirely different position, when Channels TV spoke with another factional chairman of ASUU in the school, Dr Caleb Aborisade.
He said members were in compliance with the directive of the NEC, which he said is to fight for the good of Nigerian universities and the welfare of students.
“The greatest offence anybody can commit in ASUU is to break a strike which some people have decided to do.
“We resolved at our congress that we will not disturb anybody from holding exams, they go by their own conscience, and it’s by choice. For example, my own exams, there is no way it can be done, because I’m on strike,” he maintained.
In his reaction, the Public Relations Officer of the university, Abiodun Olarewaju maintained that the school did not comply with the directive because of the adverse effect it would have on its students and their academics.
“We are very much aware of the fact that ASUU has directed its members to go on strike, but in every situation there is always an exception. Ours is an exception because we have lost a lot of ground and we must recover it.
“Most of our colleagues in other universities are in their own second semester and we are at first semester. So, an overwhelming number of lecturers have agreed not to join the strike, because our students are writing their examinations and we want then to finish”.