Say jobbers can’t dictate pace in varsity again
By Adeola Badru
The imbroglio over the appointment of a new vice-chancellor for the University of Ibadan, on Thursday, took a new twist as the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Senior Staff Association of Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union(NASU), said members of the Senate of the university that met on Wednesday to berate their agitation for a transparent process in the appointment of a new VC, is not the true reflection of the Senate of the institution.
The unions, during a press conference, held at the SSANU secretariat, said they were not surprised to see some few people gathered at the Senate Chamber to “shamelessly rant against our democratic right to stage protests.”
Reading a text of the speech titled: “A Response to the So-called Senate Meeting Resolution of 4th November 2020,” the JAC Chairman, Mr. Wale Akinremi, who described the Senate meeting as a drama, said: “The meeting was a political meeting of Olayinka Peoples Party. Our Senate can never be a meddlesome interloper, petty and infantile.”
He said: “We want to reiterate the point that never shall we allow political jobbers to dictate the pace in UI again. They have destroyed everything good about UI. The morale of workers is at an abysmal level. They cannot pay workers.
“The university is insolvent. They owe IBEDC. They have milked dry the DLC, College of Postgraduate Studies, and all IGRs point. The University of Ibadan is in red. We want to assure our members that this is just the beginning of our struggle to retrieve the university of Ibadan from these predators.”
Speaking in an angry mood, Akinremi who doubles as the SSANU Chairman, maintained that the Senate had no right to seat on union’s matters, adding that the unions did not at any time ask to appoint the VC but only made some observations which was an inalienable right of every stakeholder of the institution.
He described as empty, the threat of the institution’s Senate to discipline members of the unions found wanting in any way.
He said: “You don’t stop someone that is free from a macabre dance in the market place. Their threat is empty and shallow. It cannot fly or go anywhere. So, why do we have to dissipate energy on that?
“They do not have a right to sit on our matter in the first place. Senate is meant for purely academic matters. That was why we stated and answered them in parables that we do not belong to their class. We are non-teaching members of staff but they all know that we are well-read. Some of us have attended better institutions than the majority of them.
“We will not dissipate energy in addressing their macabre dance. It was just like they were at a cinema yesterday and you were reviewing what you saw. It was nothing serious. That kind of gathering cannot be taken seriously.
“Do you know what they do now, they do things and share things like politicians. That was not the Senate meeting of the University of Ibadan, you need to know the composition of the Senate of this great institution.
“We know the political jobbers and the academicians who face their teaching in this university. They face their teaching and research. When you want to give them an appointment, you beg and beg them before they agree, but some of the irrelevant ones, because of the perks of office, the category of that we’re the ones that championed the meeting of yesterday.
“So, if you now expect that we will dissipate energy on unserious people, anti-public people, anti-Nigeria and those that are destroying the University of Ibadan, we put it to them, when was the last time that they discussed mis-governance in this university? When was the last time they asked the VC of academic months we have lost to poor management of Prof Olayinka?
“So, we will not dissipate our energy on people that are not patriotic, people that have destroyed our university.”
On the claim that the unions didn’t have a say in the selection of the VC, he said: “Is that not contrary to logic? You have a say as Nigerians? All Nigerians have a say in anything public. We do not say we will directly appoint a Vice-Chancellor, we didn’t say that either copiously or inadvertently. But we have the right to call the attention of the management to our observations.
“What we made was an observation but because they have issues with democratic tenets, they think that they can force things on everybody because they are used to bullying everybody and we will not fall for that.”
He also denied the accusations that the union members pelted members of the council during the protest, noting that: “Let the council member that was pelted come out to say it to our face.”