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ASUU not threat to peace of Ebonyi varsity — Chairman

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ebonyi State University (EBSU) branch, has said it is not responsible for the issues threatening academic activities in the institution.

A statement issued by the Chairman, ASUU EBSU, Dr Ikechukwu Igwenyi, on Thursday in Abakiliki, however, blamed denied promotions and unpaid salaries by the state government for the situation.

It was reported that EBSU workers are being owed six months salary arrears.

Recall that staff’s salaries were reduced by 20 per cent by the state government during the nine month-old suspended nationwide strike by ASUU and the lockdown occasioned by Coronavirus pandemic.

Igwenyi condemned any threat to the institution and the union, adding that ASUU EBSU would continue to work toward moving the institution to greater heights.

He noted that the union represented the “unadulterated interest’’ of EBSU workers.

The ASUU EBSU statement alleged that the governor had on Dec. 28 asked Igwenyi to tender his resignation as the union Chairman and quit the university.

“Dr Ikechukwu Igwenyi, ASUU Chairman of Ebonyi University, is the reason there is no peace in the school,” the ASUU EBSU statement quoted the governor as alleging.

Igwenyi, while responding to the demands of the governor, stated that ASUU EBSU was not a threat to the peace of the university and Ebonyi but represented the unadulterated interest of EBSU workers.

“The reasons ASUU has problem with the state government are: one, Comrade Igwenyi represents the unadulterated interest of EBSU workers and not the interest of government or Divine Mandate Professors (DMPs), now known as “Concerned Professors”.

“Two, ASUU EBSU refused to be part of the agreement reached between the DMPs and the government under which workers in Ebonyi University would be paid at least 80 per cent of their salaries for between four months and 12 months without any negotiations with the workers’’ the ASUU statement said.

The statement said that the ASUU EBSU had refused to succumb to pressure asking it to withdraw from the National ASUU, a development that would make it vulnerable and be at the mercy of the government.

ASUU EBSU said it would also not agree to the laying off of staff, as well as the non-payment of benefits to those already laid off.

Christian Ogbonna

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