Okon Bassey in Uyo
Some members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Uyo Branch (ASUU-UUB) wrongly sacked by then administration of the Institution have been reinstated after thirteen years.
Among the academy lecturers who were sacked in 2004 by the administration of then Vice Chancellor, Prof Akpan Hogan Ekpo was the Chairman of ASUU-UUB, Dr. Edet P. Akpan accused to have signed a resolution adopted by the congress of ASUU of the University.
Feeling unjustified to have been sacked, Akpan dragged the University authority to court where he won in both the High court and Appeal court, but the university management went to Supreme court.
Two successive Vice Chancellors of the University, Prof. Akaneren Essien and Prof. Comfort Ekpo reportedly did nothing to recall the sacked lecturers until the present Vice Chancellor of the university who is less than two years old in office decided on unconditional withdrawal of the case from the court and reinstatement of the sacked lecturers.
Celebrating the recall of their members to work at the congress of the ASUU-UUB, the President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi urged members of the Union to remain steadfast and committed to the ideals and principles of the Union.
Prof. Ogunyemi, who was represented by his Vice President, Prof. Victor Osodeke boasted that no member or officer of the Union who was victimised has ever lost his/her case no matter how long the injustice lasted.
He explained that his decision to be in the Uyo branch of ASUU and participate in the congress was to celebrate with members, particularly those who were wrongly sacked and later reinstated after between eight and thirteen years.
Ogunyemi lauded the current VC of the University of Uyo, Prof. Enefiok Essien for unconditionally recalling the Chairman of ASUU, University of Uyo Branch, Dr. Edet P. Akpan and others who were wrongfully sacked.
On his part, the Investment Secretary of the Union, Dr. Charles Ononuju was full of praise to God for keeping Akpan alive to witness his recall thirteen years after his wrongful dismissal.
He noted that the legal tussle had been dragged by the previous administration of the University to the Supreme Court after Akpan had won against the University at the High Court and Court of Appeal.
Another member of the National Executive Committee Visitation Team, Prof. Offiong Offiong, who was the Calabar Zonal Coordinator at the time Akpan was sacked, noted that if the Nigerian public university system is to be preserved, members of the Union must uphold its principles whether they are in the good or bad books of their Vice Chancellors.
Offiong also enjoined members of the Union to always remain united no matter the challenges confronting the Union.
Also speaking, another member of the Team, Dr. Emmanuel Ettah, who represented the Calabar Zonal Coordinator, Prof. Nsing Ogar, urged members to always stand for the truth even if they are punished for doing so.
He warned that the day members of the Union abandon the principles of truth, discipline, courage, sacrifice and hard work which ASUU stands, Nigerian public university system will totally crumble.
In the same spirit, the Acting Chairman of ASUU-UUB, Dr. Aniekan Brown commended members of the Union for their tenacity in defending the truth, and promised to sustain his commitment and determination to uplifting the values of the Union, as well as, motivating members to a feeling of success.
Responding, Chairman of the Union, Dr. Akpan noted that he was sacked in 2004 by the administration of Prof. Akpan Ekpo, for signing a resolution adopted by ASUU-UUB Congress expressing gratitude to the Union at all levels for standing by him for the past thirteen years.
He expressed heartfelt gratitude to the current Vice Chancellor, of the University, Prof. Essien, for bringing an end to the long-drawn legal battle between him and the University, even though the University had lost the case both at the High Court and Court of Appeal.
The Congress adopted a resolution to send letters of commendation to the immediate past Chairman of University of Uyo Governing Council, Prof. Kimse Okoko and VC of the University of Uyo, Prof. Enefiok Essien for demonstrating uncommon commitment to justice and good conscience by unconditionally recalling and reinstating Akpan whose appointment was wrongfully and unjustly terminated by the administration of Prof. Ekpo
The Congress dismissed as a sad position which was dishearteningly sustained by the subsequent administrations of Profs Akaneren Essien and Comfort Ekpo.