ASUU faction has disrupted its meeting in Ojukwu varsity, The Nation report.
A crisis erupted at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Anambra State following the disruption of a meeting of the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) of the institution.
Members of the union had converged at the ASUU Secretariat for a reconciliatory meeting when a splinter group stormed the venue with armed security operatives.
The faction met at another venue within the institution before coming over to dismiss the parallel meeting.
The faction insisted the meeting, alleged to be on strike plans, should not hold.
Addressing reporters shortly after the crisis, Chairperson of ASUU, Comrade Okechukwu Aniebo, expressed disappointment over the incident.
He accused the parallel faction of working for the Vice-Chancellor, just as he refuted the alleged connection of their meeting with the impending strike.
He said: “We convened the branch congress to reconcile ourselves and be one body following the misunderstanding we had during the past administration.
“Some left the union and as a result, it was difficult to demand our rights while divided.
“We’ve seen our members dying. No staff of the university, dead or retired has received one naira as pension benefits from the state government.
“Surprisingly, some persons from the management went to the internet to reject our peaceful move.
“But since majority responded to the invitation and expressed their joy, we mobilised our members for the meeting.
“After seeing our publication, they scheduled their meeting.
“But to avoid anybody claiming we wanted to disrupt their meeting, we decided to make use of our Secretariat, despite its limited space.
“But as cola nuts were being presented, the two deputy VCs of the institution stormed our meeting with armed anti-cult security men.
“It’s so disappointing that the DVC brought his office so low to snatch my chair and table from me.
“One of the security officers held one of us on the shirt and dragged his phone from him.
“We simply showed them maturity because we can’t operate at their levels.
“I’ve not seen anywhere in the world a DVC is a leader of a trade union. It’s an absurdity; just because they want to impress their paymaster. What manifested is animalistic behaviour.”
Reacting, the leader of the splinter group, Prof. Osita Chiaghanam accused their colleagues of plans to join in the looming ASUU strike.
He described them as trouble makers intending to blackmail the management and truncate the smooth running of the university.
He said: “All the lecturers resolved not to join any strike action, whether local or national because we don’t have any issues with the university management.
“We’re not being owed, while we’re still discussing with the management on any other grey areas, including pension.
“We also resolved to continue to deliver our mandate so as not to miss any academic calendar.
“It’s unfortunate that just about 10 of them decided to foment trouble and blackmail the university management with the aim of truncating the smooth running of the university.
“But we say we can’t fold our arms and watch the university being dragged into the mud by few individuals.
“If they have any grouse, they should feel free to approach the VC who has a listening ear.”