Sonnie Adagbonyin, the vice-chancellor of the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), says the institution is commencing its 2021/2022 academic session on August 7.

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The VC also disclosed that the government has not proscribed activities of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the institution.

Adagbonyin told NAN on Wednesday in Ekpoma that the government only suspended activities of staff unions in the state-owned university as “they were inhibiting the smooth running of academic activities in the institution.”

ASUU is in the fifth month of what is believed to be its 16th strike in 23 years, bringing academic activities in many public universities in Nigeria to a standstill as negotiations with the federal government on its demands continue.

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Adagbonyin said there are false claims making the rounds that ASUU activities were proscribed in AAU.

He clarified that only a law can ban staff unionism on its campus, adding that it had yet to happen.

“In AAU, we must get it clear that government did not proscribe the unions. I need to emphasise that as there has to be a law that can take that out. And I don’t think that has happened in AAU,” the VC said.

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“Rather, what happened in AAU is a decision taken by the government to curtail the excess activities of the staff unions. What we have is a suspension of the activities of staff unions within the university.

“I need to state it clearly because in the past, certain persons in their attempt at propaganda, have taken the narrative beyond the frontiers of reality.”

Adagbonyin stated that academic activities at AAU are in full swing and students are writing their examinations.

“Lecturers are going about the supervision of students. Yet many others are engaged in the typical responsibility which academics are known for, which is research,” he added.

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“As we speak, staff have returned to work. Many more will be joining us in the days ahead. I’m saying this because there is propaganda in the air that even though AAU has resumed, activities are not in full swing. That is not true.

“As you have also noticed, while examinations are ongoing, many faculties have concluded theirs, bringing to an end the 2020/2021 academic session.’’

According to the VC, AAU is commencing its 2021/2022 academic session on August 7 without any backlog.

“And students are already coming to resume for the new academic session,” the VC added.

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“Since we have had a head start, there won’t be any backlog of academic calendar. We have only one set of UMTE candidates which session will begin on August 7.”



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