By Emmanuel Edukugho
At the recent National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), held at Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, it was dismayed by the report of mass sack and intimidation at Olabisi Onabanjo University, (OOU) Ago-Iwoye.
NEC therefore granted ASUU-OOU permission to proceed immediately on a total and indefinite strike action to reverse the illegalities in the branch.
It further resolved to provide financial assistance to those disengaged.
NEC also resolved to set up a VICTIMIZED ASUU lecturersâ€™ FUND at the rate of N1,000 per member and directed branches all over the country to commence remittance of this levy as from December 15, 2009, to be completed on or before the end of February, 2010.
At other branches with problems, NEC also granted Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, permission to embark on a total and indefinite strike to press home its demands.
For Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, NEC resolved to send a delegation to the branch on the issue of pension deduction with a view to establishing the facts on the matter.
In Enugu State University of Technology, (ESUT), Enugu, NEC reviewed the decision of the NSCC to query and suspend ASUU-ESUT for breaking the last strike; and the response/appeal of the branch on the matter. It resolved that the reasons advanced by the branch are not tenable and so ratified the suspension.
As regards University of Benin, Benin City, NEC affirmed that the Ilavbarhe-led EXCO is the legitimate and NEC – recognised EXCO in UNIBEN.
In the light of the above, NEC will at its next meeting consider any complaint(s) from members of the branch provided they subject themselves to the legitimate EXCO, satisfy the Grievance procedure in the Unionâ€™s constitution and return the Branchâ€™s secretariat.
NECÂ however stepped down discussion on the report from the Dipo Fashina-led delegation and the petition from some ASUU-UNIBEN members.
In respect of Lagos State University (LASU) Ojo, NEC examined the crisis in LASU and resolved to support the branch in its struggle to ensure:
That the Visitor should take seriously the findings of the six-man Ad hoc committee set up by the Lagos State House of Assembly which indicated the vice-chancellor.
The setting up of a Visitation panel to the University in accordance with public service rules.
The Vice-Chancellor be asked to step aside pending the findings and recommendations of the panel.
In the University of Port Harcourt, NEC viewed with seriousness the attack on UNIPORT Campuses by ex-militants and condemned the ensuing violation of human rights and loss of property. It called on government to relocate the ex-militants from their present location as the nearness of their camp to the university portends grave danger.
On suspended branches, NEC discussed the situation at the ASUU-ABU (Ahmadu Bello University) Zaria Branch and resolved that it is mandatory for the branch to remit to National the check-off dues for the period it owes. NEC directed the branch to work out modalities for payment and submit them at the next NEC meeting alongside the branchâ€™s account, to facilitate the process for its re-admission.
As for Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka, NEC resolved that:-
The Engr. Okoye – led EXCO is dissolved and directed the zone to work closely with the crises Intervention and Judicial Advisory Committees to re-organise the branch and lay the foundation for election of a new EXCO.
Judicial process should be pursued to retrieve the check-off dues owed the union by the branch.
On payment of two months withheld salaries, it was noted that branches expressed deep dissatisfaction with the failure of the government to pay the two months salaries withheld from staff during the last strike. NEC warned that the failure to pay these salaries soon will worsen the rising agitation on the matter.