The 41-year-old Academic Staff Union of Universities has split with the formation of a new union, the Congress of University Academics. Lecturers from five universities in the country announced the formation of CONUA in Ile-Ife on Saturday. The lecturers, who unveiled the new union, were from the Federal University, Lokoja, Kogi State; Kwara State University, Malete; Ambrose Ali University Expoma, Edo State; Federal University, Oye-Ekiti and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
But ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, in an interview on Sunday said the union was not aware of any splinter group. Ogunyemi said some vice-chancellors, who were rebuked for high-handedness, were encouraging members of the union in their institutions to rebel. Addressing journalists during the first stakeholders’ meeting of the new group at the OAU, CONUA National Coordinator, Dr Niyi Sumonu, explained that the new group was formed because of the need for new approach in handling issues affecting universities across the country.
Sumonu said the first mandate of the new union was to ensure a stable academic calendar in order to improve quality of education in the country’s ivory towers. He said, “For standard of education to be very high, we need a stable academic calendar. We need to be able to predict academic session. We need to have innovation which is difficult without continuity.