Nigerian University Lecturers have asked the Federal Government to reopen tertiary institutions in the country as they are ready to work following nationwide educational shutdown prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lecturers under the aegis of Congress of University Academics (CONUA), a breakaway faction of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), released a press statement on Wednesday August 26, after it held a National Executive Council meeting in Abuja.
The statement signed by CONUA’s National Coordinator, Niyi Sunmonu (pictured), and titled ‘Stop intimidation of CONUA members’ reads;
“The meeting called on the government to reopen universities as soon as possible as CONUA members are ready to resume work.
“Everything necessary in terms of COVID-19 protocols must be put in place before reopening the universities in order to prevent students and staff from contracting the disease.
“CONUA further stated that the education sector cannot continue to stagnate, as it appears that COVID-19 would continue to be a threat and we must, in the circumstance, learn to strive to lead our normal life.
“Union thus urged the government to make available everything that can help our universities to resume work as is being done elsewhere in the world.”
CONUA also revealed that some of its members were allegededly intimidated and harassed by “some university administrations and some other unions within the University”, condemning the action entirely.
“While saluting those university administrations which held meetings to promote academic staff members during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Union condemned in strong terms those administrations who failed to organise such exercises, despite that several academic staff have been waiting for their promotions for a long time, with some spanning five to ten years.
“The Union received information to the effect that some universities held Senate meetings and Congregation elections but refused to convene any meeting to carry out the promotion of its members, simply because some people threatened that such promotions, if ever announced, will be reversed.
“CONUA leadership felt outraged by such pronouncements and expressed its resolve to support any efforts by university administrations to facilitate the due promotion of academic staff members.”