Two factional academic unions; the Congress of the University Academics (CONUA) and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), are currently on loggerhead at the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti(FUOYE) on the likely date for school resumption.
CONUA leadership had on Monday assured the management of the University that they are ready and set to work as soon as the Federal Government reopens the universities.
CONUA National Secretary, Dr. Henri Oripeloye, gave the assurance while paying a courtesy visit on the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti(FUOYE), Prof. Kayode Soremekun in Oye -Ekiti.
Oripeloye said that the members of the union were ready to work as soon as directive was given by the government that academic work should resume in the universities.
But in a subtle reaction to the assurance given by CONUA, the embattled Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Dr Gabriel Akinyremi Omonijo, dismissed the assurance as a self-serving propaganda.
Omonijo, who declined further comments on the excuse that he was not prepared to join issue with an ‘illegal’ association, was quick to add that he belonged to ASUU and so would only enjoin progressive University lecturers to await the outcome of ASUU/FG negotiation and not an assurance from a dissident voice.
Meanwhile, according to CONUA chairman, some individuals in the university are set to resume: “We have our members who are fully ready to work, there are other members of other unions, even factions of Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) who are ready to go back to work. I want to appeal to the federal government to consider other unions who are not part of ASUU’s fight to resume academic work in various universities,”
It would be recalled that FUOYE has been moving from one crisis to another in the last three years, including the faceoff between the management of the university and various associations over what they called ‘Soremekun’s highhandedness and corrupt practices’.
Another round of crisis surfaced recently when ASUU accused the Vice-Chancellor of plotting to impose an unqualified Professor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor , Abayomi Fasina, as his successor.
The academic union said Soremekun had allegedly been running the university like a private entity and promoting culture of ethnicity, nepotism, financial recklessness and abridgment of due process for personal aggrandizement.
ASUU said Fasina, who allegedly absconded from the Ekiti State University (EKSU) in 2015 and collected double salaries running into a sum of N3.4 million from the two universities for about six months lacks the requisite integrity to be appointed a Vice-Chancellor.
But reacting, Soremekun via the Deputy Director, Corporate Services, Adeyinka Ademuyiwa , said Prof Fasina is not being imposed by anybody.
Soremekun added that the process of getting a new VC has begun and he hopeful of the emergence of a new VC from this ‘transparent’ process, saying the Zonal ASUU, which commanded poor followership among lecturers in FUOYE lacks the credibility to impose anyone on the institution through incessant attacks and obnoxious practices.
Soremekun’s tenure will expire as VC in February, 2021.
The Coordinator of ASUU, Akure Zone, Prof Olu Olu Olufayo, who spoke at a press conference held at EKSU, on recently, clarified that the lingering crisis between the union and FUOYE’ s management was not a personal vendetta against anybody, but to prevent the university system from being undermined and desecrated.