The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has reacted to the registration of two new tertiary education unions by the Federal Government.
In a chat with Vanguard newspaper, the National President of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, stated that the action was inconsequential to ASUU as an association.
“That does not in any way affect us,” he said. “We are a disciplined and focused union and we know what we are doing and what we are after. Let them register as many unions as they like. That is inconsequential as far as we are concerned. We are not also in any way threatened. The sky is big enough for birds to fly.
“We know our members, we know our strength and we also know what our vision and mission are. Our members are not saboteurs or bootlickers. Our struggle is for a better educational system in the country. If the system is good, all of us will benefit and it is not only ASUU members’ children and wards that are going to benefit from improved funding and the provision of better facilities in our institutions.”
Recall that the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA) and the Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA) were both registered by the federal government earlier on Tuesday.
Niyi Sunmonu, a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, is the leader of CONUA, a union for lecturers working in all of the country’s universities.
According to Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Productivity, both groups will coexist with ASUU, and will have access to the same rights and benefits offered to other academic unions in the tertiary education system.