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ASUU’s Rival, CONUA Reveals Reasons Behind Formation of Union in Varsities


ASUU’s Rival, CONUA Reveals Reasons Behind Formation of Union in Varsities

The President of the Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA), Dr. Niyi Sumonu, has revealed that monopoly and suspension of some members by its sister union, Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, led to the formation of the body.

Sumonu disclosed this in an interview with Arise TV on Wednesday.

Recall that the National Industrial Court on Tuesday ratified the recognition of CONUA and the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA) as trade unions.

While reacting to the judgment and creation of CONUA, Sumonu stated that “the more, the merrier.”

He said, “To set the record straight, CONUA is a child of necessity. It was born as a result of some internal disagreement and highhandedness in resolving the disagreement, which started within the campus of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU).

“There were issues, so because of highhandedness and monopoly, those issues eventually led to the expulsion of members in OAU. This expulsion was decided upon on February 4, 2018.

“It was after that expulsion from ASUU that members decided, in order to protect our right, to follow the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that confers on every freeborn citizen the right to associate, that CONUA was formed.”

He also disclosed that the union was officially formed on February 12, 2018, and applied to be a trade union on April 30.

According to him, the decision of the court vindicated the aims of the union, and their right of association.

On the issues in the educational sector and what approach the union hopes to bring, Sumonu noted that lots of research has been done.

He said, “From the time CONUA was birthed, we started evolving our ideology. One of the things we noticed as a result of our research is the method of calling the attention of the government to the wrath in the system, which is the method of strike action.

“That method has lasted for well over four decades, and here we are. I leave it to the judgment of Nigerians to judge whether that method has done good for us.”

Sumonu also stated that the union will work with and engage the government to ensure the issue of incessant strikes ends in the academic sector.

He noted that the door is open to working with ASUU “as long as it is about the progress of the universities and the country.”

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