Reporter : AMECHI ODO
A meeting between Ebonyi State Government and the national leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over a lingering industrial crisis in the State University has ended in deadlock at Government House Abakaliki.
Ebonyi State University chapter of ASUU embarked on strike early 2020 over the deduction of twenty percent of its members’ salaries by the state government.
However, the strike was suspended in December 2020 with the Acting Chairman of ASUU, Comrade Ikechukwu Igwenyi, alleging that his life was under threat.
Speaking to journalists, the National Vice Chairman of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, expressed anger that Governor David Umahi who led government officials to the meeting refused to address contentious issues but dwelt on personalities.
“Instead of talking about ASUU, we were talking about personalities, calling our ASUU Chairman a boy and what have you. We are meeting at the congress tomorrow, after that we will know the next step. He repeated the threat here and that if anything happens here that he would be held responsible,” the ASUU National Vice Chairman noted.
Ebonyi State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Onyebuchi Chima, told journalists that the ASUU national leadership came to the negotiation table unprepared.
“I would only say that what happened today was a show of unpreparedness on part of ASUU. The information they were fed were erroneous: in negotiation that you have points that were not going your way and ability to condone those points that are not going your way does not mean threat.
“I have said it repeatedly that what should be done is that they should get their facts right before coming back to the visitor (Governor),” the Commissioner said.
Lecturers in EBSU have not been paid their salaries since August 2020 as a result of the strike they embarked on to protest their salary cut.