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

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The Congress of University Academics, CONUA, has called on the Federal Government to, without further delay, register and recognise it as an academic staff union in the university system in Nigeria.

This, the union said, had become necessary as it had met all conditions required for it to be so registered.

The National Coordinator, Dr Niyi Sunmonu, who stated this in a chat with Vanguard yesterday, opined that there was no condition yet to be fulfilled by the union for it to be registered.

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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.

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“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.

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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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