Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Friday, raised the alarm that present developments in Kogi State University (KSU), Anyigba and Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo were capable of destroying the Nigerian university Education and ridicule her certificates in the global community.
Consequently, it has called on the Visitors to the two institutions, Governors Yahaya Bello and Akinwunmi Ambode, respectively, to intervene and do the needful to save the nation’s universities from ridicule.
At a press conference in Awka, the Union accused Governor, Yahaya Bello of recruiting holders of Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) to replace about 150 lecturers dismissed at KSU just as it accused the Vice Chancellor of LASU, Prof. Lanre Adigun Fagbohun of victimising ASUU members in the university for no just cause.
The Zonal Coordinator of ASUU Owerri Zone comprising of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Uli; Federal University of Technology, Owerri; Imo State University, Owerri; Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Ike Odimegwu who addressed the press conference stated that the Kogi Governor’s action was capable of destroying the Nigerian University Education.
He said, “This arrogant display of power and abuse of office by Mr. Yahaya Bello speaks volume about the extent to which some political office holders could go to crush perceived opposition in their bid to emasculate and enslave Nigerians so as to fulfil their ambition towards destroying the public education system.
“After the sack of the over 150 seasoned lecturers, Mr. Yahaya Bello resorted to the recruitment of unqualified individuals such as laboratory attendants, members of the National Youth Service Corps, NCE holders and even undergraduate students to replace them. These actions of Mr. Yahaya Bello amount to gross violation of International Labour Law, the Constitution of Nigeria and all known best practices in the university system.”
Noting that the crisis in Kogi State University was caused by inadequate funding and erosion of university autonomy and academic standards by the State Government, Odumegwu said, “In July 2017, the Visitor to Kogi State University (KSU), Anyigba, the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello announced the proscription of all ASUU activities in the University. This was followed with the sacking of over 150 academic staff of the University who were on a lawful struggle to press for the payment of the backlog of their salary running into several months.
“These lawless actions are clear manifestations of arrogance and a very high level of ignorance on the side of Mr. Yahaya Bello vis-a-vis the limits of his power as the State Governor and failure of appreciation of the essence of a University.”
On LASU issue he said, “ASUU as a Union of intellectuals stands and in the course of our struggles for just and equitable society, our members have been subjected several times to various forms of victimisation.
“This is the current situation in LASU. Our Union had only requested the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Lanre
Adigun Fagbohun, to constitute a functional Budget Monitoring Committee (BMC) in line with the guidelines for accessing Needs Assessment Intervention Fund of the Federal Government.”
He therefore called on Governor Ambode, to intervene and save the university from impunity and dictatorship.