by Segun Odeleye
Crisis has hit the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as its Chairman, Dr Ifeanyi Abada and two executive committee members, Mrs. Christy Obikeguna and Mr. Omenma Tochukwu have been suspended following an emergency congress held on Friday at the Nsukka campus.
The union announced the appointment of former secretary, Dr Aaron Agbo, as the acting chairman. Also appointed were Jude Chukwu, (acting secretary), Ifeoma Nzekwe (acting financial secretary) and Engineer Omah (welfare officer).
The resolutions of the ASUU UNN branch which were signed by Agbo and Chukwu, stated that the suspension of Abada followed his failure to prioritise the welfare of members, and working to deprive members of their entitlements on earned allowances. The congress also faulted Abada for failing to present the union’s account to the congresses of the Nsukka and Enugu campuses before forwarding it to the National Executive Committee (NEC), as required by ASUU financial regulations.
The congress further said it took the decision following Abada’s violation of the recent strike action by “supervising postgraduate students; attending departmental board meetings during the last nationwide strike of the union, to sign the resumption register opened by the university administration… on November 9, 2013 against the NEC directive; deceiving members by presenting several issues, which he claimed were decisions of the Joint Action Congress (JAC) when JAC did not make such decisions, as was rightly reflected in the disclaimer by National Association of Academic Technologists, (NAAT), and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, (SSANU), two of the four unions in the university.”
The congress also declared as inconsequential and invalid the earlier purported suspension of Agbo, saying it did not follow due process and was based on unverified accusations.
The other two suspended members Omenma and Obikeguna were suspended for their roles in Agbo’s suspension.
While mandating the suspended officers to hand over union property in their custody to the acting chairman, the congress implored the new executive to address with all urgency welfare issues concerning members, especially the payment of allowances.