University guards disrupt ASUU congress in Anambra




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By Peter Okolie

Igbariam (Anambra) – A congress of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday disrupted by armed security guards of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (COOU), Igbariam in Anambra.

 

Crisis erupted when the security guards stormed the union’ meeting hall and chase away the lecturers who had converged to deliberate on the ongoing ASUU strike.

The lecturers later reconvened under a mango tree within the premises but were again harassed by the security guards who were allegedly acting on the instruction of the institution’ .

However, the lecturers resisted the security guards and went ahead with their meeting  under the mango tree in front of the Faculty of Social Sciences block.

 

Addressing newsmen, ASUU Owerri Zone Coordinator, Dr Uzor Onyebinana, said the meeting convened in solidarity with COOU branch of the union who were allegedly being harassed for joining the nationwide strike.

 

“Today, ASUU members were treated like common criminals; a where the of COOU will unleash security men on in an attempt to prevent from holding our meeting at the Congress hall and even under a mango tree is unacceptable.

“Even students not be treated that way.

 

“Most of the national ASUU are agitating for affects ASUU COOU, and the institution also stands to benefit,” he said.

 

Onyebinana said the ongoing nationwide strike aimed at getting government to satisfactorily address matters of Earned Academic Allowance.

He added that further aimed at concluding the re-negotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement as well as revitalization fund for public universities and the discontinuation of proliferation of state universities, among others.

 

Also speaking ASUU COOU chairperson, Prof. Alphonsus Aniebo, accused the COOU of coercing members to abandon the national strike, even when the had benefited from many agitations and demands of national ASUU.

“The COOU Management are hell bent on destroying ASUU in COOU, the vice chancellor has trivialized in this institution, putting all around Aniebo.

“They have even scheduled examinations in the when the students have not resumed,” he said.

In his reaction however, COOU Public Relations Officer, Dr Chukwueloka, said he was not certain if truly the union members were chased away by the institution’ security guards as alleged.

 

“I wouldn’t say that there was a chase as alleged, but if there was anything that happened like that, was a mild approach even though I did not witness .

“As much as I know, the ASUU COOU has a secretariat. So, if there was the allegation that the management chased them with security guards, they can simply go to their secretariat.

“The vice chancellor I know doesn’t have the heart to apply force on people,” he added.

He noted that management of the university was rather in support of the ongoing strike.

“We have received our pay even up to the last minute. If the management is not in suppprt, why would they pay lecturers?” he said. (NAN)