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University of Abuja ASUU Strike: Professors Stand Firm Against Vice Chancellor's Attendance Order

University of Abuja ASUU Strike: Professors Stand Firm Against Vice Chancellor's Attendance Order

University of Abuja ASUU Strike: Professors Stand Firm Against Vice Chancellor's Attendance Order

The University of Abuja has found itself at the center of a significant standoff between its academic staff and management. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at UniAbuja has remained resolute in their refusal to comply with the vice chancellor’s directive to sign a daily attendance register. This directive was introduced as an attempt to mitigate the strike that has gripped the university since May 2, 2024.

At the heart of the matter lies a complex web of grievances that the academic staff seek to address. The union's strike is fueled by allegations of violations of establishment laws, including the appointments and promotions of staff members without a governing council—a crucial oversight body in university administration. According to the union, these practices undermine the integrity and lawful running of the institution.

The vice chancellor, Prof. Rasheed Na'Allah, in his efforts to tackle the crisis, had ordered lecturers to sign a daily attendance register. This move, in his view, would ensure that academic activities resume and the impact of the strike is lessened. However, this order has been met with staunch opposition from the union's leadership.

ASUU's Position and Stance

The chairperson of UniAbuja ASUU, Dr. Sylvanus Ugoh, has made it abundantly clear that the union members will not comply with this directive. In his statement, Dr. Ugoh cited a myriad of issues with the vice chancellor’s approach, including a lack of due process and continued illegal employment procedures. The union, he reiterates, is committed to fighting for the rightful and lawful management of the university’s affairs.

From the union’s perspective, adhering to the vice chancellor's attendance register would equate to an acceptance of the malpractices they are protesting against. It is a matter of principle and ensuring that the university adheres to the laws and regulations that govern its operations. The strike, therefore, continues, with the academic staff standing firm in their resolve to see these issues addressed satisfactorily.

Impact on Students and Academic Activities

The ongoing strike inevitably has a ripple effect on the entire university community. Students, caught in the crossfire, face the brunt of the disruption. With lectures halted and academic activities stalled, their education and progress are put on hold. For many, this prolongs their stay at the university, delays graduations, and potentially impacts their future plans.

There is a palpable sense of frustration and disappointment among the student body. While some students sympathize with the lecturers' demands and recognize the importance of lawful governance, others are exasperated by the prolonged disruption to their studies. The strike, in many ways, underscores the delicate balance that needs to be maintained in educational institutions between administrative decisions and academic welfare.

University Administration's Response

On the administration's side, Prof. Rasheed Na'Allah and his team appear to be in a tough spot. Recognizing the validity of some of the union's grievances, there is also a pressing need to restore normalcy and ensure that the university’s academic calendar doesn’t suffer irreparably. The introduction of the attendance register was seen as a potential stop-gap solution—one that now seems to have backfired.

The administration’s response has included attempts at dialogue and negotiation. However, trust between the union and management appears strained. The vice chancellor has called for continued discussions and reassured that efforts are being made to address the concerns raised. Nevertheless, the union demands more concrete actions rather than assurances.

Looking Forward

As the standoff continues, all eyes are on the leadership on both sides to find a resolution. The future of UniAbuja’s academic environment hinges on the resolution of these deep-seated conflicts. It is clear that both parties must come to the table with a genuine willingness to find common ground.

Addressing the root causes of the strike—insisting on due process in appointments and promotions, and establishing a functioning governing council—seems paramount. Ensuring that university operations align with its governing laws will not only address the union's grievances but also pave the way for a more stable and legally compliant administrative structure.

Students, parents, and the broader academic community are hopeful for a speedy resolution. The strike at UniAbuja becomes a test case for how universities navigate conflicts between academic staff unions and management. It underscores the importance of governance, transparency, and adherence to the rule of law in educational institutions.

In conclusion, while the situation at UniAbuja remains a complex and evolving issue, it highlights the broader challenges facing educational institutions. Ensuring lawful and transparent practices in university administration is crucial for maintaining the trust and integrity of both academic staff and students. As these negotiations unfold, the hope is that a sustainable and just resolution can be achieved, setting a precedent for future disputes in Nigerian universities and beyond.