The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, has said the registration of a new trade union by the government for academic staff in the university system is inconsequential and does not pose any threat to its existence.
Earlier today, the Federal government presented a certificate of registration to the Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA), a breakaway faction of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Reacting to the development, Osodeke while speaking to newsmen, said 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.
Osodeke, who also reacted to the allegation by the Presidency that ASUU members are complicit in the corrupt practices in the university system, described such as 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.
Members of the Academic Staff Union Of Universities ASUU have been at loggerheads with the Federal government over the 7-month-old strike embarked upon since February 14 this year.