Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Fresh trouble in CRUTECH as ASUU sets to battle Ayade, over appointment of VC, see details here

Front view of CRUTECH gate, Calabar campus

Ukorebi Esien | 4th November 2019

The Cross River University of Technology, CRUTECH branch of Academic Staff Union of University, ASUU, has said it is ready for a show down with the governor of Cross River State, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade should he refuse to follow the laid down procedure in appointing an acting Vice Chancellor for the University. TDN can authoritatively report.

Comrade Emmanuel Ettah, branch Chairman of Union in the University told Newsmen Tuesday, that the union is reliably informed that the visitor to the University, Prof. Ben Ayade is on a move to flout the 2003 University Miscellaneous Act as amended, which clearly stipulates how an acting Vice should be appointed in a University. 

Explaining further, Ettah informed that the tenure of the current acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Akin Joshua, will elapse by Thursday 7th November 2019, having spent six months as acting Vice Chancellor and by law she cannot continue and she cannot be reappointed. He informed that the new governing council which was properly constituted about a month ago couldn't follow the due process of advertising and hiring a VC to fill up the vacancy due to time constraints, because by law the council needs a minimum of six weeks to advertise for the office and hire, therefore, the need for the appointment of an acting VC. 

The Union leader went ahead to reveal that the law stipulates that the governing council is to forward a list of five recommended names to the governor who is the visitor to the University, from which he is to appoint an acting Vice Chancellor for the school. 

According to the Union leader, "...but we are in the know from very reliable sources that the visitor wants to appoint an acting Vice Chancellor outside the list transmitted to him by the University Governing Council and that will be a breach of the 2003 University Miscellaneous Act as amended. The union feels that if that is done the autonomy of the University as entrenched in the constitution and the 2009 agreement between ASUU and the Federal Government will be eroded and that might lead to litigation. 

"...The union is not poised to embarrassed government, the union is poised to inform government that the due process is to appoint one person among the five in the list transmitted by the governing council of the University to the Visitor. 

"We are gathered here today to inform the public that the governor does not have the absolute power to appoint a Vice Chancellor for the University without the recommendations and consent of the Council. And that if government goes ahead to defy the 2003 Nigerian Universities Miscellaneous Act as amended the Union will not hesitate to seek redress where necessary". He said. 

The Chairman argued that it will be a disservice to the University for government to think that they can sit down in the comfort of their homes and appoint anybody as VC to the school. As a sign of their commitment to this course, the Union has asked all Heads of Department to forward all students examination scripts to the office of the Vice Chancellor. According to Comrade Ettah, "...because we don't know how far government will want to push us..."

If this fight lingers, the implication is that the newly graduated students of the University will not be mobilise for the one year compulsory NYSC scheme as at when due because examination script won't be marked till the show down between government and ASUU is over. 

Comrade Ettah called on Cross Riverians to rise up and defend the University from hijack, stating that the state University has been of benefit to the state as it has produced several qualified academics between 2002 to date. He explained that in 2002, the state could not boast of more than five Cross Riverians with a Masters degree in Engineering but today they can boast of over fifty Professors in various fields in the University. 

"We have trained Cross Riverians who have gone outside and excelled in their various field and are ready to serve this state, it will be a disservice to the University if government think they can appoint anybody to come and be our Vice Chancellor in that University".

"We think that it is proper for government to follow due process, but if they refuse to follow due process, we will not go to sleep, we will wait for them as they are waiting for us". He concluded.