Today (Tuesday), February 1, 2022 members of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) in the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU) called off their one-week warning strike.
Meanwhile, academic activities in the universities has resume in earnest as members of the union returned to their seats.
The strike was embarked upon because of the Federal Government’s inability to reconstitute the university’s Governing Council and the non-resolution of the dispute between the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and its Education counterpart on whose duty it is to control the Universities of Agriculture nationwide.
According to the two bodies, the government’s delay in constituting the Governing Council of the Michael University of Agriculture has affected workers welfare, including the ratification of promotions since 2019, pointing out the delay led NASU to commence the warning strike that ended Monday.
This, they believed, amounted to a big disturbance to the university community and ought to serene at all times.
Some officials of the unions spoken to by our Correspondent in Umuahia, said they were worried because the non-resolution of the dispute between the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Federal Ministry of Education over which ministry controls the Agriculture Universities has negatively affected Universities of Agriculture and its workers across the nation.
“This has continued to cause more problems for the workers.
“Actually, this inefficiency or neglect on the part of the Federal Government has put MOUAU into disarray and led to the absence of peace and tranquility in the university environment”, lamented a staff who preferred anonymity”, they asserted.
They added, “Let the federal government do what they are supposed to do. Let them reconstitute the board and be categorical on what ministry controls the universities of agriculture in the country. That is our major problem”.
It will be recalled that the immediate past Governing Council of the university’s tenure ended last year and a new Council was immediately appointed by the Presidency in September 2021. However, since the announcement, the Council has not been inaugurated.
A union official described it as a clog in the wheel of progress of the Michael University of Agriculture, Umudike, adding that “it has halted certain management decisions which now affect the workers”.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council of the university, NASU and SSANU, Umudike branch, Comrade Ohambele Ifeanyi declined to talk to the press on the issue.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.