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Register Our Union Now, ASUU’s Rival, CONUA Tells FG

The Federal Government has been urged by the Congress of University Academics (CONUA) to register and recognise CONUA as an academic staff union in the Nigerian university system as soon as possible.

The union claimed that because it had satisfied all requirements for being so registered, it had become necessary to do this.

In an interview with Vanguard yesterday, the National Coordinator, Dr. Niyi Sunmonu, said that the union had not yet to satisfy any requirements before it could be registered.

He said:-

“Some days ago, the Minister of State for Labour, Mr Festus Keyamo, SAN, said publicly that CONUA has met all requirements for it to be registered as a trade union, but we don’t know what is still delaying that.

‘’There is always the need to look at issues from more than one perspective. Moreover, we operate in an academic environment.

“Look at it this way, when the GSM revolution started in the country, the pioneers said per second billing was impossible but another operator came and started per second billing, every other operator joined and the society has become better for it. We all know that there is freedom of association in the country as enshrined in the constitution.

“In the university, when someone is defending his final project, he faces an audience who would look at his work in different perspectives. That is intended to make things better.

‘’We don’t want to believe that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, is behind this reluctance on the part of the government,” he stated.

Sunmonu also denied insinuations that the government wanted to use his group to destabilise ASUU.

He said:-

“We were members of ASUU before some issues came up in 2016 at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, and when justice was not done and majority of members felt it was a deviation from what a union should stand for, CONUA eventually came up in 2018.”

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