The National Coordinator, Congress of University Academics (CONUA), Dr. Muyiw Sunmonu, has described reconcilation talks by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as a distraction.
Sunmonu, in a statement, said the Akure Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Prof. Olubayo Olu, had reached out to some CONUA leaders to reconcile factions of ASUU.
Sunmonu said Olu sent text messages to some leaders of CONUA in Obafemi Awolowo University inviting them to a meeting in OAU to “reconcile the various factions of ASUU in your branch”.
He said CONUA rejected the invitation as it was not a faction of ASUU but in the process of getting registered as a trade Union.
“CONUA is an independent academic staff union with highly progressive and widely accepted philosophy and vision that are different from those of ASUU.
“CONUA had applied for and met all the necessary requirements for registration as a trade union since 2018. The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment confirmed this and indicated he had set up a committee to advise him in this regard. Hence, CONUA is anxiously awaiting the approval and announcement of its registration.
“Nonetheless, CONUA will continue to conduct its activities and propagate its philosophy and vision in line with the freedom of association enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Therefore, any meeting with ASUU would amount to a distraction to our core activities focused on rebranding and providing an alternative platform for academic staff members to express their views without hindrance in advancing the Nigerian education sector in general and the tertiary education in particular,” he said.
Sunmonu said CONUA already had its tentacles in 18 universities.
He said the Union was founded “based on irreconcilable differences with ASUU, especially on matters of principle and modus operandi”.
He said further that CONUA was focused on how to solve the hydra-headed problems in universities and work with other unions to achieve this aim.