By Kunle Adedoyin
The erstwhile umbrella body of university lecturers appears to have been splinted as a parallel body has applied to the Federal Ministry of Labour and employment for registration.
The lecturers, who have broken away from the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have decided to form a new group, Congress of University Academics (CONUA).
Niyi Ismaheel, National Coordinator of CONUA, said that the lecturers decided to form the new group to redefine unionism and restore peace and stability in universities.
He spoke to reporters at its first national stakeholder forum at the Obafemi Awolowo University- Ile Ife (OAU).
Ismaheel said that the new union would form a new approach of engagement in addressing the welfare of its members and to put to an end “the unnecessary wasting of student’s academic time as a result of frequent strike action.”
He claimed that the new union already has members in Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Federal University, Lokoja and Kwara State University, Molete.
“The union is putting necessary documentation in place for official recognition by the university management and the government,” he added.
Dr, Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, who confirmed that the union has applied to be registered by the ministry, said he received its application in April this year.
Ngige said that a committee has been set up to look at the application.
“They have not been registered yet. Their application is in the ministry. They submitted it even before I left. They submitted the application in April. It has not been treated,” Ngige said.
“We are still looking at their application. I asked a committee to look at it. When we look at the committee report we will know,” he said.
Official of ASUU are yet to respond to the new development.