By Uthman Samad
The Nigerian Union of Pensioners ( NUP) and Federal Universities Pensioners Association (FUPA) have engaged each other over alleged corruption and mismanagement of resources.
Nigerian NewsDirect correspondent learnt of two operating bodies of Pensioners association on the campus of Obafemi Awolowo University. These include Federal Universities Pensioners Association (FUPA) and Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) on the campusThe Branch Chairman of NUP Chief Ayotunde Ashafa JP on phone conversation with our correspondent said the Union is the only recognised association of pensioners at OAU Campus. He said the NUP OAU branch encompasses alot of retired workers who have one way or the other belonged to the Unions like NAAT, ASUU, SSANU and NASU on campus while still serving the government.
“We recognised FUPA as an association that should operate under Nigerian Union of Pensioners . Though OAU branch of NUP emanates from FUPA until we realized the irregularities and abberation persisting within the Association. 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.
According to him, 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”.
He alleged that 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 said emphatically.
While shedding light on the support received as the authorised pensioners association, Chief 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”.
Chief Ashafa lamented that if not for the protest on campus by NASU,SSANU and NAAT, the union supposed to hold a meeting on November 28, 2017 so as to discuss salient issues.
“The strike obstructed it and cut short the union’s plans,” he said.
The secretary of NUP, Comrade Awosoji said there is no regret for opting out of FUPA just because he can’t cope under alleged fraudulent administration. “Though the alleged fraud is still there but not as then which our new membership has been serving as a means of keeping them on their toes. If at all 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.
NigeriaNewsDirect correspondent gathered during an interaction with the secretary general FUPA Mr Hameed Olaniyi that all the sister unions on OAU campus are with the body . He disclosed that NUP is for low class retirerees.
He said ; “All the Unions on OAU campus like ASUU, SSANU, NAAT and others do not belong to NUP designed 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. The association is allegedly trying to engage the people with lies, they are having eight to ten years allowances to collect from Government. They left us with just fourteen to fifteen members calling themselves members of NUP,” lhe clarified.
Mr Olaniyi added that “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 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. I 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,” he added
He added: “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”.