Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The seven Professors stripped of their ranks and demoted by the Governing Council of the Federal University of Otuoke (FUO) have decided to fight back alleging that their demotion was illegal and a move to punish them for speaking out against the disruption of the vision of the institution.
Registrar of the University, Mr. Iruo Yousuo had, in statement, said the affected lecturers Profs Steve Nwabuzor, Leonard Shilgba, Timothy Falade Obalade, Felina Nwadike, Sepibo Lawon-Jack, Marcellina Offoha and Evans Eze were stripped of their ranks for lacking the requisite criteria of professorial cadre.
The action of the Governing Council had been backed by the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the university headed by Dr. Joseph Omoro which said the demotions were justified as the seven dons did not merit their ranks.
However, in a press conference addressed, in Yenagoa, three of the affected dons, Nwabuzor, Nwadike and Eze, speaking on behalf of others, while rejecting their demotion, said their professorial ranks were duly approved by the Governing Council in place after the establishment of the University.
Nwabuzor who said the affected lecturers are not ready to join issues with the University Management pointed out that all the seven affected lecturers who were “illegally demoted” and whose “appointments recklessly terminated” were those invited from the Diaspora to help nurture the new university in 2012.
The affected dons said Prof. Seth Accra Jaja as Vice-Chancellor is running the federal university like a state university as he ”frequently applies rules and regulations in the management of the University that should not apply to a Federal university”
They also accused him of running a cabal system as “management meetings do not hold and decisions that affect the livelihood and careers of staff are taken by a few individuals at secret locations”.
The embattled dons noted that the university management has “totally ignored the physical and infrastructural development of the University “and has turned ASUU in the school into a willing tool to oppress perceived enemies.”
Investigations revealed that an epic legal battle is in the offing as some of the affected dons have concluded plans to drag the university management to court.