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    Tuesday, May 21, 2024

    ASUU Rejects New Governing Councils

    The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Tuesday in Lagos kicked against the newly constituted Governing Councils by the Federal Government for its public tertiary institutions and demanded the immediate return of the disbanded councils.

    Addressing journalists at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) secretariat on association, the Lagos Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Prof. Adelaja Odukoya, said, the issue relating to the Governing Councils is about tenure of the former councils that had not lapsed before they were removed from office.

    He since the former Council members have not breached the law setting them up, their sack amount to an illegality.

    “The issue is about the tenure of the councils. They had a tenure that they were not allowed to complete. That is illegal. The only condition that they could have been disbanded was if they committed any offence or were involved in any illegality. That was not the case. They were just swept away like that. We want them to be returned.

    “If we allow this illegal act by the government to go unchallenged, somebody could just wake up from the wrong side of the bed one day and say he is even disbanding the universities. The President has a tenure of office, how would he feel if he is asked to go home when his tenure has not lapsed.

    “The fact that some unions and people are thumbing up the composition of the councils does not mean they spoke to us as a union. The situation has led to some vice chancellors behaving like emperors on campuses. We have issues in some universities and we are tackling those things,” he said.

    On the Mushrooming of Universities across the country, ASUU decried the trend and vowed to explore all available legal options to oppose the widespread attempts by politicians to continue the proliferation of crisis centres for youths with limited resources under the guise of universities.

    “NUC Act be fully reviewed as agreed in 2020 to strengthen it and make it more capable of sifting off proposals for the unnecessary and irrational establishment of universities, as outlined in the ASUU-FGN Memorandum of Action (MoA). ASUU and NUC joint committees presented a draft bill to the National Assembly on this topic during the immediate past legislative session.

    “The bill’s altruistic trajectory of the system, we assume, was not compatible with the manner in which the country’s political elite have contemptuously turn Universities into constituency projects. There is the need to revisit this bill, in the interest of the country.

    ASUU urged the government to discourage politicians advocating for further mushrooming of universities.

    On the non-release of the withheld salaries of ASUU members, Odukoya said the government would not succeed in what it termed efforts to foist a master-servant relationship on lecturers.

    “We are not slaves and we are not afraid to go on strike, the court case instituted against us by the former administration has been concluded. There is nothing stopping us from going on strike if the need arises.

    The union decried what it described as the deliberate crisis creation in some Nigerian Universities in Kogi State University (KSU), Anyingba, Ebonyi State University (EBSU), Abakalıkı, Lagos State University (LASU), Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), Igbariam, and other universities where its members have been unjustly sacked and have had their salaries withheld for no reason.

    It vowed to always support its members wherever and whenever they are subjected to unfair treatment.

    The union also revisited the renegotiation of FGN/ASUU 2009 Agreement, non-release of withheld salaries and arrears of earned academic allowances and the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System.

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