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FUPRE CRISIS DEEPENS, AS SSANU OPTS FOR DIALOGUE

By NBF News
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BY Emma Amaize
WARRI- As the work-to-rule declared on Tuesday by Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU and Non Academic Staff Union, NASU of Federal University of Petroleum, FUPRE, Effurun in Delta State, over alleged unlawful recall of Vice Chancellor, Prof. Babatunde Alabi and Registrar, Dr. L. Onwuka from terminal leave by the Minister of Education, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, SSANU of the university, has opted to pursue dialogue and peace in resolving the issue.

SSANU, in a statement by its Chairman and Secretary, Mr. Efe Akpojovwo and Mr. Ivy Okonkwo, respectively, said it agreed, after a meeting convened on Tuesday to review the state of affairs in the university, 'to pursue at all times, measures aimed at ensuring peace and stability, law and order in the institution.'

It said: 'Congress resolved to guarantee the welfare and security of employment of all its members.'

Meanwhile, the people of Ugbomro community, host to FUPRE, yesterday, called on the Minister of Education to cancel the purported recall of Prof Alabi from his terminal leave, a development that had thrown the university into avoidable crisis.

Traditional Prime Minister of Ugbomro community, Chief Ambrose Olughor, made the call when the leadership of ASUU and NASU, FUPRE branches, visited his palace to apprise the community on the happenings in the university.

Olughor said the community had been monitoring development in the school and asked the Minister to allow the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof Isaac Osazuwa, who was mandated to oversee the university by the Governing Council, the prescribed authority, to continue with his job.

There was uneasy calm when Vanguard visited the university, yesterday, as offices were still under lock and key, while policemen guarded the premises.

A source told Vanguard that the embattled Alabi, who indicated his willingness to resume duty in a chat, sent some of his aides to retrieve his official vehicles, yesterday, but were prevented from removing the vehicles by irate workers.

The source said: 'They pushed them out and seized the keys of all the vehicles.'

Chairman of ASUU in FUPRE, Dr. Rim-Kukeh, who spoke to Vanguard on the work-to-rule, said: 'Our action is total no matter what anybody tells you. Go to the school and find out whether there is any worker there.'