Ngige, A Poor Student of History, CONUA Will Help Nobody – Activist
A Nigerian-born British Professor of Law, Abdul Mahmud has described the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige as a poor student of history, over the certification of the Congress of University Academics (CONUA) as a trade Union in the nation’s university academic system.
Mahmud, a former student union activist and political analyst, said the move to use the new body to delegitimize the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) would serve no good purpose as CONUA is Union in a single university with about 250 members out of over 1600 academics in the university.
The activist added that such move by the present administration to divide the ranks of university lecturers like in the old, would would not come to fruition, citing the cases of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and ASUU as the military administration tried in 1991 and 1992 under the General Ibrahim Babangida’s reign.
“You’ve to understand how unions work in the academic environment to know that this CONUA will help nobody. Ngige hasn’t learned from history. IBB tried it with NANS and ASUU in 1991 and 1992 and failed disastrously.
“1991, IBB through late Prof Babs Fafunwa recognised Post Graduate Students Association to delegitimise NANS that the Government claimed it banned through Decree No. 89 and failed. 1992, it tried same trick with Jega-led ASUU and failed.
“CONUA is a single university Congress- it is heavily localised to Ife, with about 250 members (out of over 1,600 academics) – and it cannot help Buhari’s cause. CONUA that’s led by a non-Professor Sumonu will change nothing.
“Ngige is a poor student of history and it is sad that it is his likes that are today ruining our country and the lives of our youths. Ngige, like Zacchaeus, always hurries up the tree to be noticed by Nigerians. Short men.”
The federal government on Tuesday, legitimized the rival academics union with the presentation of certificate of registration by the Minister of Labour and Productivity.
CONUA is led by Dr. Niyi Sunmonu and the group, according to reports has been on the struggle to register the union without success until the recent debacle that occurred in the negotiation between Nigerian government and ASUU.