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By Desmond Ejibas
Some students of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), on Wednesday protested allege threat by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to go on strike over government’s payroll system.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ASUU had rejected a Federal Government’s directive mandating academic workers to enrol into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) before Dec. 7.

The students in their numbers also staged the peaceful protest to reject ASUU’s alleged directive to withhold student’s second semester results.

The students, who disrupted a meeting by ASUU in the university campus, held placards with the inscriptions: ASUU let our academic calendar stand; Say no to strike; Stop exploiting students, among others.

Sowari Daniel, President, Students’ Union Government (SUG) in UNIPORT, who led the protest at the campus in Port Harcourt, called for Federal Government intervention.

“The SUG rejects ASUU’s unpatriotic approach of inciting academics against government’s well intended policies and UNIPORT management’s innovations to stabilise and revitalise the university’s system.

“ASUU’s threat of strike action is unpatriotic move in the face of current realities in UNIPORT, where all stakeholders are making efforts to revive the system.

“We learnt of ASUU’s meeting to move forward their plan to strike on Dec. 20. So, students took protest to their meeting to avert any strike by lecturers.

“There is no justification for the incessant strike actions in the University of Port Harcourt,” he said.
Daniel said the student body was dismayed with ASUU’s directive to its members to withhold students’ second semester (2018/2019 session) results.

The SUG president claimed that the call by ASUU was an attempt to hold the university management to ransom and serve a cheap political point.

According to him, the alleged unpopular decisions taken by ASUU in UNIPORT recently led to the formation of a break-away faction, the Congress of University Academics (CONUA).

“To this end, the UNIPORT branch of SUG is giving its full support and loyalty of CONUA. We also urge management to give full support to CONUA.

“Consequently, the student’s union has ceased to recognise the gathering of any group of people in our university in the name of ASUU,” he said.

NAN reports that CONUA, a faction of ASUU, had on Tuesday opened its branch in UNIPORT with lecturers in their large numbers participating in the opening. (NAN)

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