Wants reversal of new law
By Ozioruva Aliu – Benin City
The Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is set for a showdown with the Edo state government as it has called for a reversal of the law recently passed by the Edo State House of Assembly that has ceded the administration of the school to the Visitor who is Governor Godwin Obaseki.
A statement yesterday by the Chairman and Secretary of the ASUU, Dr Monday Igbafen, and Anthony Aizebioje Coker said the Union was unconvinced by the reason given by the State government for the “unconventional and hasty amendment of the University Law, an amendment which confers on the Governor with extra-ordinary powers to “invade” the University with total disregard for the devastating consequences on University autonomy, long-tested traditions, ethos and organs of the University.”
The union viewed the reason given by the governor in the controversial amendment saga as a smokescreen to take over the University for the “purpose of eroding the autonomy of the University and installing Sole Administratorship with the Acting Vice-Chancellor as camouflage.
The Union also faulted the fashion in which the University Governing Council was dissolved saying “The Council as a tenured organ of the University cannot be dissolved by fiat without legal consequences for the University and the State.”
While identifying the major problems facing the university, both in its past and present existence, to include the direct state politicization, neglect, and gross underfunding by the successive governments of the State, ASUU claimed that “the University has been denied all forms of concrete recurrent and capital budgetary provisions.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, workers/retirees in the University are suffering due to non-payment of salaries for five (5) months and unpaid check-off dues, pensions, gratuities, and other sundry deductions from staff salaries for over one year.”, ASUU said.
The Union insisted that: “The Governor and Visitor to the University must as a matter of urgency address the problems of workers/pensioners in the University with particular reference to payment of outstanding salaries (5 months), check-off dues and sundry deductions for over one year,” among others.