University of Abuja ASUU Commences Indefinite Strike Amid Internal Controversy

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the University of Abuja has embarked on an indefinite strike over alleged illegalities in employment and administration. However, some ASUU members have rejected the strike, claiming it was declared unilaterally without collective agreement.

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University of Abuja ASUU Commences Indefinite Strike Amid Internal Controversy

University of Abuja ASUU Commences Indefinite Strike Amid Internal Controversy

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the University of Abuja has embarked on an indefinite strike to protest alleged illegalities in employment, promotion, and administration, including the hiring process for a new Vice Chancellor. However, the decision has been met with disapproval from some ASUU members, who claim that the strike was declared unilaterally by the union's chairman, Dr. Sylvanus Ugoh, without the collective agreement of all members.

The strike action at the University of Abuja highlights the ongoing struggles in Nigeria's higher education sector, which affects not only the students but also the country's development. The resolution of this dispute will have implications for the academic calendar, staff welfare, and the overall quality of education in Nigeria.

Thestrikewas announced on Thursday at the end of the ASUU congress held at the Permanent Site of the institution. Dr. Dr. Ugoh cited issues such as the non-election of provosts and deans of faculties, including the advertisement for the vacant position of Vice Chancellor. He stated, "The union had resolved to launch a total and indefinite strike with immediate effect."

However, anti-strike ASUU members, led by Dr. A.G. Kari and Prof. Engr. M. G. Gana, a former Nigerian ambassador to Japan, have rejected the strike, arguing that it is not representative of the larger ASUU membership. They claim that the strike is based on "highly questionable issues" and that the chairman's speech had a "fascist air," with no member allowed to comment or make observations.

The anti-strike group has reassured students, parents, and the general public that they will uphold the integrity of the University of Abuja's academic calendar and continue to push for the continuous opening of the university's operations. They stated that the union's demands, which included the election of provosts and deans, plus the advertisement for the Vice Chancellor position, have been partially addressed by the university management.

The ASUU members quoted the university's Vice Chancellor as saying that the election of deans would not cripple university activities, and that four substantive deans have already been elected. They questioned, "If the basis for the strike was genuinely about the election of deans, would an indefinite strike facilitate the process or put it far off?"

Why this matters: The group also raised concerns about why ASUU, University of Abuja, would proceed on an indefinite strike when other federal universities, such as University of Maiduguri, Usman Dan Fodiyo University, Sokoto, and ATBU Bauchi, have advertised for the position of Vice Chancellor without going on strike. They emphatically stated, "We say no to strike over issues that are not peculiar to the University of Abuja!"

The strike action at the University of Abuja comes amid a broader context of ongoing disputes between university staff and management across Nigeria. In recent years, ASUU has been at odds with the federal government over issues such as funding, salaries, and working conditions. The union has embarked on several nationwide strikes, disrupting academic activities and affecting students' education.

The strike at the University of Abuja continues, and the internal controversy within the local ASUU chapter's resolution is uncertain. The divided stance among union members highlights the complexities of labor disputes and the challenges of reaching a consensus on critical issues affecting the university community.

The University of Abuja, established in 1988, is one of Nigeria's prominent federal universities. It has faced its share of challenges over the years, including leadership changes and infrastructural issues. The current strike action and the disagreements within the ASUU chapter add another layer of complexity to the institution's ongoing struggles.

As concerned parties, including students, parents, and the wider public, await a resolution to the strike, the impact on the university's academic calendar and the quality of education remains a pressing concern. The situation at the University of Abuja serves as a microcosm of the broader challenges faced by Nigeria's higher education sector, highlighting the need for effective dialogue, good governance, and a commitment to the welfare of both staff andstudents.

Key Takeaways

  • ASUU University of Abuja chapter goes on indefinite strike over alleged illegalities in employment and administration.
  • Some ASUU members reject the strike, claiming it was declared unilaterally without collective agreement.
  • Strike demands include election of provosts and deans, and advertisement for Vice Chancellor position.
  • Anti-strike group claims university management has partially addressed demands, making strike unnecessary.
  • Strike's resolution will impact academic calendar, staff welfare, and quality of education in Nigeria.