Thursday, 3 February 2022

Strike: ASUU OAU Blows Hot, Vows To March Up With VC, Ogunbodede.


 By Alofe Faith and Agunbiade John

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, Obafemi Awolowo University Branch on Thursday, 3rd February, 2022 held a solidarity congress at the First Bank Lecture Theatre to discuss the situation surrounding the strike action. Recall that the Union had earlier this week declared an indefinite strike to protest the unpaid Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) for deserving members of the union.

In an interview with the Chairperson of ASUU, OAU Branch, Adeola Egbedokun, he stated that the Ibadan, Lagos, Akure and Benin zones came to the ASUU OAU congress in solidarity to fight injustice and maladministration in the university.

The Chairperson expressed further that "the Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede has not seen anything, this is just the beginning of the strike because the Vice Chancellor had declared a war and we would march up with him". The ASUU chairperson affirms that the strike is a local strike supported by the national body of ASUU.

When asked why the strike is peculiar, he replied that the Vice Chancellor has refused to listen to what ASUU said regarding the earned academic allowance. He added that "this is not the first time we will paid EAA in many Universities" and you can cross-check from other universities that the money was disbursed around 11th or 12th of December 2021 which 98% have paid before the end of 2021. "It is only OAU that has refused to pay till now owing to the fact that the VC is a member of an illegal group called CONUA".

The Chairperson further stated that anytime ASUU meets with the Vice Chancellor, he always question their actions as against CONUA's. He added that ASUU fought for the money and the Union should determine how the money should be disbursed.

He said that disbursement of the Earned Academic Allowance has always been based on the template submitted by ASUU, "so if the Vice Chancellor wants to give money to a union not known by the law he should use the Non-ASUU share". The Chairperson expressed that the VC should share ASUU's Earned Academic Allowance to the Union members.

The Chairperson said that on 20th January, 2022 ASUU held a meeting with the Audit Unit where the Vice Chancellor told them he was going to take computation for verification and since that day there has not been any official communication or documentation from the Vice Chancellor on the outcome of the verification that was carried out. He added that the office of the Vice Chancellor should be more responsible in communicating officially to every stakeholder in the University.

When asked to react on what the University Management said that academics was going smoothly on campus and does it means that the impact of the strike was not felt. The chairperson expressed that "no lecture is going on on OAU campus and whatever the information the University is feeding the public is all lies and they are deceiving parents". He urges parents to visit the university to assert the level of destruction the university administration has brought upon the university".

When challenged that some classes held lectures, the chairperson stated that "any class that held is been organised by the cohort of the Vice Chancellor".

ASUU members after the congress took to the roads and academics environment and academics environment of OAU campus, chanting in protest of their unpaid Earned Academic Allowance.

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