Friday, December 2, 2022

ASUU Strike: Buhari regime breaks universities union into three factions

The factional unions are National Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA) and the Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA).

• October 4, 2022
Ngige/ASUU president
Chris Ngige and ASUU president

The Muhammadu Buhari regime has officially recognised two additional academic unions in a calculated move to reduce the influence of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over its refusal to call off its months-long strike.

Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, issued certificates of recognition to National Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA) and the Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA) at the federal secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday.

Following registration, the CONUA, headed by Niyi Sunmonu, a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, would represent Nigerian academics in discussions with the Buhari regime as a full-fledged labour union. 

Although Mr Ngige said the unions would exist alongside ASUU, there are strong indications that ASUU would be sidelined from partaking in decision-making events that may not favour the regime. Negotiations with the labour union to call off the strike which began February 14, have so far reached stalemate.

Mr Ngige had angrily stormed out of the last negotiation session where he accused the union president, Emmanuel Osodeke, of inciting Nigerians to vote out the APC government. 

As opposed to ASUU, members of the new union are more likely to achieve an agreement with the regime.

However, ASUU, representing the lecturers for more than four decades, retained a vast majority of the membership and insisted that it would not return to work until the Buhari regime met its demands.

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