September 27, 2023

ASUU Confronts AAU Administration For Requesting Members To Resume Without Solving School Fees’ Hike Crisis

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By Simeon OSAJIE

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the Ambrose Alli University, (AAU) Ekpoma, has faulted the decision of the University Administration ment for directing all staff to resume unfailingly on September 12, 2023 to avoid sanctions without resolving the persistent crisis in the institution., pub-3120625432113532, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

In a press statement signed by Dr. Cyril Oziegbe Onogbosele and Dr. William Odion, Chairperson and Assistant Secretary of ASUU, AAU, Ekpoma respectively, dated today, Tuesday 12th September, 2023 said the academic lecturers warned against any attempt to make its members the stooges of the present crisis rocking the University as a result of what it called the glaring incompetence, ineptitude and cruelty by the University Administration in the handling of the school fees/charges debacle.

The Union expressed concern over the safety of its members in the University as a result of frequent insistence by the students that workers should stay away from the University campus and the directive by the University Administration that workers should resume work immediately, adding that staff of the University were being hemmed in the melee or faceoff between the students and the University Administration.

The Union said that since the Special Intervention Team (SIT) and the present University Administration led by Prof. Asowman Sonnie Adagbonyin took over the management of the University, “they have not demonstrated the capacity and competence to apprehend or successfully deal with conflicts and crises emanating from critical issues pertaining to staff and students in the University”.

“With staff unable to have access to the main campus of the University, the University Administration shamefully summoned  a militarized emergency Senate meeting outside the University premises and resolved to suspend academic activities in the University indefinitely with effect from 4th September, 2023,” the Union noted.

According to ASUU, the resolution stated that the Senate decision was informed by the need to prevent total breakdown of law and order and to guarantee the safety of life and properties of the University and its environs.

The Union said that it was startled by the circular dated 11th September, 2023 by the Acting Registrar of the University, Mr. Ambrose Ehi Odiase directing all staff to resume unfailingly on 12th September, 2023 to avoid sanctions. “The questions arising from this are many. Has the crisis caused by hike in school fees/charges been resolved? Is the University campus accessible to, and safe for staff? Have students returned to campus for the commencement of lectures and other academic activities? When did Senate direct the return of academic activities?”, the Union queried.

“It seems the University Administration/SIT have resolved to blame their failure to avert and manage the school fees/charges crisis on innocent staff”, adding that there is speculation that some authorities in the University are working tirelessly to blame the avoidable crisis in the University on staff and staff unions,” the Union said.

While describing the development as disturbing, the Union stated that only sincere commitment to resolution of the crisis will put the students’ unrest to an end. The University Administration should dialogue with the SUG leadership and toe the path of truth in the matter. Staff should not be made scapegoats in the matter.

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