By Ikhili Ebalu Benin City
There was pandemonium in Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Edo State when suspected thugs stormed the Congress of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ekpoma Chapter, disrupting proceedings on Monday.
It was learnt that the hoodlums, invaded the venue of the meeting held at AAU, destroyed the public address system while most of the lecturers allegedly scampered for safety and ran out of the hall even as one of the exit doors was locked.
The National leadership of ASUU in November 2018 called out members for strike action to draw the federal government attention to decay in the nation’s Universities and staff welfare.
It was gathered that the microphone was seized from the Chairman of AAU-ASUU, Prof. Monday Igbafen while the zonal leadership of ASUU who was present at the Congress, watched with despair.
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.
Responding, Chairman of AAU-ASUU, Prof. Monday Igbafen who confirmed the report, said: “We were at the Congress today and they sent people to disrupt our Congress.
“We are on ground. We have not taught. The VC is broke. They want to collect money from students. He has been threatening lecturers with strike. The VC is forcing lecturers to go to classrooms and teach”.
He said AAU has benefited over N5 billion since the struggle started in 2009, clarifying that the strike was called by the national body of ASUU.
He wondered “why the school management is against ASUU strike when it benefitted N5.4bn from TETFUND and NEEDs assessment due to ASUU struggle.
Already, some lecturers of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma defied the strike order by the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) by commencing academic activities.
The lecturers were seen at different faculties of the university lecturing students while students heeded call by the university management to resume school for academic activities.
A visit to the school campus showed students returning to campus in droves.