The ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) about three months ago seems not to be uniting members as some branches are still embattled with internal crisis.
The crisis in ASUU branch of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, took a messy dimension as aggrieved members disrupted the union’s meeting hosted in the institution, pursuing zonal officers in different directions.
It was gathered that trouble began when aggrieved members demanded that the local chapter chairman, Dr Adeniyi Omonijo, step aside before the commencement of the meeting.
However the zonal chairman, Akure Zone, Prof Olu Olu, was not willing to yield to the demand.
The meeting which was billed for 1pm was aborted when irate members stormed the venue and chased away those who wanted to hold the meeting.
The aggrieved members had accused Omonijo of committing impeachable offences as a result of which they said he should be removed from office.
Reacting to the allegations of impeachable offences, Omonijo told newsmen that he had not committed any offence for which he could be impeached by the House.
He accused those asking for his head of insubordination, saying that they had tabled other matters that were outside the agenda of the meeting he had empowered them to hold while he was away for national assignment for the union.
The development led to break up of the ASUU in FUOYE into three three factions namely Academic Staff Concerned Group, Congress of Nigerian Academics, and New Academic Staff Union of FUOYE, reports Sunnewsonline.
On Tuesday, January 15, the crisis got messier when aggrieved members violently disrupted a congress of the union that was called by the Akure zonal chairman Prof. Olu.
The angry members, who were far more in number than those loyal to Omonijo, seized ASUU’s vehicle that conveyed the zonal boss to the premises of the university for more than three hours threatening to set it ablaze.
It, however, took the intervention of the school’s Chief Security Officer (CSO) who appealed to the aggrieved faction to release the vehicle before normalcy was restored.
The angry lecturers insisted that embattled chairman of the chapter, Dr.Omonijo must first step aside before any Congress would hold on the campus.
It was gathered that the congress of the academic union was about to hold at about 1pm at the venue, on Tuesday, under the supervision of Prof. Olu when angry members stormed the venue to stop the meeting, rang bell, made so much noise and chased away those who wanted it to hold.
A leader of the union and Dean of Faculty of Arts of the university, Dr. Opoola Bolanle Tajudeen, who spoke about the cause of the disruption said: “There was to be a congress but there was no congress because our members felt strongly that Prof. Olu Olu who has been part of our problem in this chapter should not now come to foist any congress on us and they insisted that he cannot hold any congress when the chairman of our chapter that he is imposing on us has committed impeachment offences.
“There has been a resolution on ground that the chairman has committed impeachable offences and should go.
“Our people really felt bad and demonstrated their grievances. They spoke their mind. However there was no casualty.
“The demands of our members who insist they are still part of ASUU is that current chairman of our branch Omonijo should step down because he has committed impeachable offences.
“Our people cannot allow a system where some people from outside would cone and lord over us. We have our own internal problem and we should be allowed to solve it internally.
“Our people want ASUU to move on but we don’t want Omonijo again, ” he said.