By James Sowole
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has described as unacceptable the failure of the federal government to reconstitute governing councils of some public universities, whose tenures have expired.
The union also faulted the practice whereby the government allows acting vice- chancellors to remain in office for more than six months permitted by the extant law.
The position of the union was disclosed by the Coordinator of the Akure Zone of ASUU, Prof. Olu Olufayo, while speaking with journalists in Akure, Ondo State on the compliance of university lecturers in the zone with the ongoing ASUU warning strike.
The Akure Zone comprises Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Federal University Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) and Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti branches of the union.
Olufayo, who was supported by chairmen of branches in the zone, noted that the current strike was not only because of the non-payment of February salary of university workers over IPPIS issue, but also because the federal government failed to implement agreement reached during a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on January 9, 2020 which covers six areas of universities’ needs Specifically, ASUU stated that the tenures of governing councils of the Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Federal University, Lokoja, Federal University Oye Ekiti among others have expired, while government has not done the needful which resulted in administrative recklessness.
“The union also notes that there are some universities, against known universities’ tradition, which are being headed by acting vice-chancellors whose tenure should not exceed six months.
“A good example of such is Federal University, Dutsin-Ma where six acting vice-chancellors have served in two years with each drawing full entitlements of a substantive vice-chancellor.
“It is still bewildering the ostrich- like attitude of the tederal and state governments to the clarion call of our union in setting up a visitation panel to investigate the administrations of such universities, especially where such had not taken place in the last five years,” Olufayo stated.
The coordinator said the federal government should be blamed for the disruption of academic calendar of public universities because all the union is only fighting for the good of the education sector.
He said if the federal government had implemented various Memorandum of Action (MoA) signed, there would not have been any problem, but the insensitiveness of the government caused the current situation.
The don lamented the condition under which students receive lectures in many universities, saying that the entire system would have collapsed if not because of the efforts of ASUU.
“Strike is not our gain, but we have found out that it is the only language that the government understands, so nobody should blame us,” he said.