Posted by News Express | 25 September 2020 | 3,996 times
By PAMELA EBOH, Awka
Gun-wielding security men from the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU) Igbariam in Anambra State on Thursday chased away lecturers of the institution as they made to hold a scheduled meeting.
The lecturers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had recently dissociated themselves from the planned reopening of the institution by its management, a development that did not go down well with the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Greg Nwakoby.
ASUU members in the institution were led to the meeting at the congress hall of the institution by Prof Alphonsus Aniebo and the zonal coordinator of the group, in Owerri Zone, Dr Uzo Onyebinama, when gun-wielding security men from the institution’s anti-cult outfit stopped them and asked all members of the group to leave.
Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof Nwakoby, had days back said that academic activities will continue in the institution.
He observed that out of over 600 lecturers in the university, only a few were embarking on the strike.
The group wondered why the Vice-Chancellor would send security men to stop them from meeting, saying: “They shut the door against us and asked everyone out of the hall as if we were common criminals.
“We left the hall and converged under a mango tree in the institution, but we were also stopped from meeting but we insisted.”
Speaking to journalists, the immediate past coordinator of ASUU, Owerri zone, Prof Ike Odumegwu, said: “The security men said they were instructed by the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Greg Nwakoby not to let the group hold its meeting within the institution.
“We have never been treated this way before. How can the Vice-Chancellor send security men to stop us from meeting? They shut the door against us and asked everyone out of the hall as if we were common criminals.”
On his part, chairman of ASUU in the university, Prof Alphonsus Aniebo, said: “I have been queried because of this strike and this is geared towards terminating my appointment in this university
“It is very unfortunate. This union made a lot of sacrifices, we have been key to the struggles here. We will not be intimidated. In this university, there is no budget monitoring fund. TETFUND and NEEDS are products of ASUU struggles, but the VC is bent on killing the university because he has just three years to leave.
“The university wants us to break a national strike, but we have said we will not. We will keep following the national body of ASUU because every achievement he has here has been as a result of ASUU struggle.”
Dr Uzo Onyebinama, who is the chairman of Owerri zone of ASUU, condemned the action of the Vice-Chancellor, refuting claims that the lecturers had no reason to go on strikes because they are not captured in the controversial IPPIS payment model.
He added: “Let me tell you, our struggle has been on, for a number of reasons before the Federal Government brought in IPPIS.
“For the vice-chancellor to claim that IPPIS is the sole reason for the strike shows that he is not well informed.”
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