The Federal Universities Pensioners Association, FUPA and The Nigerian Universities of Pensioners, NUP, at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, have been locked in dispute as both groups of retirees seek recognition and accuse each other of corruption.
The branch Chairman of NUP, Ayotunde Ashafa, in a telephone interview with CAMPUS REPORTER said that NUP is the only recognised union of pensioners at OAU .
He stressed that NUP OAU branch encompasses a lot of retired workers who are members of unions like NAAT, ASUU, SSANU and NASU on campus while still serving the government.
“OAU branch of NUP emanates from FUPA until we realized the irregularities and abberation persisting within the Association, he said. We recognised FUPA as an association that should operate under Nigerian Union of Pensioners. The last straw that broke the camel’s back was when the chairman Comrade Akintaro allegedly tried to rape the Constitution overnight by contesting more than two terms contrary to the Constitution.”
He said members discovered that he had allegedly been spending the association’s fund in a condemning and reckless manner.
“When we came to our senses and discovered that we are in a wrong association (FUPA) instead of NUP, we opted out. FUPA is not a registered Association under Trade Union but registered under Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) like normal organization. Any member who belongs to FUPA is a violator of trade Union laws,” he told CAMPUS REPORTER.
While shedding light on the support received as the authorised pensioners association, Ashafa claimed that they received several letters backing operation of NUP on OAU campus.
“We have a letter from our national body to the Vice Chancellor. Our last letter to report the unauthorized operations of FUPA written through our national Body NUP Abuja, was dated May 24, 2017 with reference number NUP/NHQ/Vol. IV addressed to the Vice Chancellor stating our aims, the recognised member and other needed information that would relay our identity to the management and authenticate the registered Association”.
Also, the secretary of NUP who identified himself as Comrade Awosoji told CAMPUS REPORTER that there is no regret for opting out of FUPA.
“If there can be over three pensioner Unions on University of Ibadan campus, why should we continue with corrupt leaders without our own faction?” Comrade Awosoji declared.
However, the Secretary of FUPA, Hameed Olaniyi said all the sister unions on OAU campus are with the body.
He said: “NUP is for low class retirerees. All the Unions on OAU campus like ASUU, SSANU, NAAT and others do not belong to NUP. It is for Primary school teachers that are no more in service. A Pensioner of local government workers, those Pensioners from the ministry and the likes are the ones which NUP is organised for.
“I just keep wondering how will someone in an Association for years wake up to rubbish the Association. I find it myopic enough to envisage. As members of Federal Universities Pensioners Association, we don’t belong to NUP at all. It’s free membership, but it’s not possible for reasonable ones among us who has happened to be in the University system from inception going into NUP.”
Olaniyi further alleged: “NUP went ahead to radio station to call for meeting in OAU, indirectly calling OAU pensioners which is a federal University for meeting.
“We have been saying it and Emphatically we will continue, do not belong to NUP. We have perceived them to be looking for people from right, left and center to suppress and cage inside their bin and if you are not intelligent enough you can go into them.
“We in this faction to realise that they cannot introduce NUP into the campus. NUP has been in existence for long in Nigeria but not on OAU campus because rationally it appeals no stance to a person with common thinking.
“Imagine myself after spending 35 years in service that we will now move out of the university system for local Union, where the condition of operation and service is hugely different,”
“FUPA is not having any correlation, quarrelling nor vendetta for them, but that humans cannot submit to the same ideology. I could recollect vividly, the national chairman of NUP is a Pensioner from a College of Education. Calling for meeting is like playing on the intelligence of others which made us to reset the announcement by making a counter announcement that we were not calling for any meeting on whatsoever stance.
“We even made it clear that we are the Original body of union for University Pensioners. They are just trying to create unnecessary media attention.”
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