Tony Osauzo, Benin
A congress of the Ambrose Alli University (AAU) chapter of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) ended in chaos, yesterday, in Ekpoma, as some lecturers of the institution disrupted the meeting and destroyed the public address system.
In the ensuing melee, many lecturers scampered for safety and ran out of the hall, even as one of the doors was locked.
The microphone was seized from the Chairman of AAU-ASUU, Prof. Monday Igbafen, despite the presence of the zonal leadership of ASUU at the congress.
Some of the lecturers shouted at the ASUU leadership to leave the hall as they were prepared to end the strike and teach the students.
In a fit of anger, one of the lecturers, who pleaded anonymity, said: “I’ve started lectures. ASUU is not my employer. We’ll not listen to them.”
Some lecturers had, yesterday, defied the strike order by the leadership of the ASUU, by commencing academic activities.
The lecturers were seen at different faculties of the university lecturing students who heeded call by the university management to resume school for academic activities.
Students were seen receiving lectures at the College of Medicine, Faculty of Law, School of Environment and Department of Economics, among others.
Spokesman for the university, Mr. Edward Aihevba, said the institution opened for academic activities to get funding to meet its salary obligations.
He said the monthly subvention from the state government only meets 45 percent of its staff salaries and the balance is paid from school fees, adding that the university could either be in solidarity with ASUU or choose to sink.
“We are between the devil and the deep blue sea; if we stay in the strike, we sink. It is better we stay afloat, while other universities are carrying on with the strike action.”