From Joseph Obukata, Warri
There is a fresh anxiety at the Delta State University, Abraka as the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Andy Egwunyenga and the chapter’s leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), continued to disagreed whether to resume lectures or abide by the ongoing 8-week roll-over strike of the ASUU.
Prof Egwunyenga had on Saturday during the institution’s matriculation ceremony for new intakes for the 2021/2022 Academic Session announced resumption of classes, insisting that despite the ongoing 8-week roll-over strike of ASUU lectures in the institution will commence on Monday without fail.
According to him, all students must be in their lecture hall on the said date, adding that the ‘university will not amend her academic calendar for any reason’.
He urged old and new students to take it as a responsibility to tell those not aware of the development.
But, reacting to the news, Chairman of ASUU, Abraka branch, Comrade G. Demaki, said that ASUU-DELSU, in line with the National Executive Council (NEC) of ASUU is still on strike.
He warned that they ‘have a Strike Monitoring Committee in place just like that of the national body put in place to enforce compliance by all academic staff who intend to betray the Union’
‘If we establish that they take classes, we will issue such member query and make them face the Ethics Committee and if found guilty will be expelled or denied the right to hold any position’
Daily Sun reports that the development is currently causing anxiety in the institution as many students interview anouymouly said that the situation may affect their examination as some departments have already commenced lectures in the institution.
Some of the students disclosed that examination will commence soon in the institution as some departments have already fixed dates for tests for students.
Specifically, the student appealed to ASUU-DELSU to be on the same page with management, especially since the present VC had once headed ASUU in DELSU.
Daily Sun reports that with the development, it appears as if the management and ASUU are on a collision path as ASUU are bent on enforcing the directives by the national executive council in totality.
In a telephone conversation with our correspondent on Sunday, Chairman of DELSU ASUU branch, Comrade G. Demaki, told Daily Sun that students were not on campus on account of ASUU and such should not be held responsible for any anxiety they currently faced.
He said that ASUU has no power to stop the management from reopening the institution but lecturers who go contrary to ASUU NEC directives would be penalised.
‘Our position as earlier stated remains. That position still subsist. The university can proceed to reopen the university, we don’t have power to stop the management. The senate has authority to take decisions and we cannot stop them as a union but we have authority over our comrades who are lecturers so those decisions that were taken were not by VC admin but by senate of the university.
‘So for us, the position still remains the same. The national directives is still there and the strike is total and comprehensive. The national body has not call off the strike of the Union. So far that directives is still on, we are not available but if the university says they want to open university and call back students for lectures, let’s wait and see.
‘But the directives is very categorical. We have branch monitoring committee and we shall ensure compliance and any defaulter will be punish accordingly. That defaulter will be suspended in the first instance, will be tried by ethics committee of the Union and thereafter will be expel from the Union.
‘So that’s our position. We have no problem, we are not the university administration. ASUU is not the university administration. So the university administration has announced, whatever they announced has nothing to do with us, nothing concerns us with the announcement. The national executive council directives of the Union of the 8-weeks roll-over strike action is still in force. So that’s the position.
When reminded that the decision of management and that of ASUU seem to be causing anxiety among students, he said that ASUU has no power to call students from home and was no responsible for their current predicament on campus.
‘In the first instance, we don’t have power to call students to go home or come to classes. We don’t have that power so let the students go and seek clarification from university authority. It is not the Union that call them back.
‘So you too as a journalist, you should be able to make a proper representation. You’re asking me about students, in the first place, was it ASUU that call them back? So why are you asking me that kind of question that the students are anxious? Did ASUU called them back or did ASUU send them away? So why don’t you direct your questions to the authorities? Those questions are not meant for us and please don’t go and misrepresent the union’, angered Demaki fumed.
Reiterating the position of the national executive council, he said, ‘the directives is still there, the strike is still on, the strike is total and comprehensive. ASUU didn’t call students back to campus or send them away so those questions should be directed to whosoever that called them, the authorities that are responsible.
‘The categorical position is that the union is still on strike and the national body has not call off the strike and I have appealed to you that we shouldn’t be misrepresented’, he added.