The University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) has reopened and will resume academic activities on Dec. 9 in spite of the ongoing strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The university’s spokesman, Dr Williams Wodi, who disclosed this to newsmen in Port Harcourt, said that the university’s reopening was in compliance with the directive of the Committee of Pro-Chancellors, which was endorsed by the university’s Senate during its emergency meeting on Tuesday.
“The Committee of Pro-Chancellors met and directed Vice-Chancellors to reopen their universities. Our Senate approved the directive and we have complied. We didn’t call off the ASUU strike; rather, we reopened the university for academic activities and lecturers who return to classes will get their full entitlements.
“Some lecturers, irrespective of the ASUU stance, have indicated interest to resume work and so, we are not saying that every lecturer must return to class,” he said.
Wodi noted that on many occasions, students had called for a resumption of academic activities, even as the ASUU leadership continued its negotiations with the Federal Government.
However, a source, who craved anonymity, said that the move to reopen the university for academic activities was partly due to the rising public opinion, which queried the rationale behind the prolonged strike.
He also said that most ASUU members were also unhappy with the intransigent posture of the union’s leaders despite the Federal Government’s willingness to resolve the crisis.
“The union should call off the strike, while negotiations continue so as to enable lecturers and students to return to classes,’’ the source said.
He noted that the union had lost a lot of public goodwill because of the prolonged strike.