ASUU Tackles Governor Oshiomhole Over UNIBEN Face-OffLatest News, News Tuesday, January 20th, 2015
IGNATIUS OKPARA, Benin City – Academic Staff Union of Universities has accused governor Adams Oshiomhole, of Edo state of high-handedness and attack on its members in his quest to take-over possession of some properties in the University of Benin.
The allegation by the apex body of Nigerian universities was contained, in a statement issued by its National President, Dr. Nasir Fagge on Monday in Abuja.
ASUU alleged that some of the academics who fell victims of the destruction were already counting their losses as important books and certificates were buried in the rubbles.
Fagge said, “Our attention has been drawn to the attack on our members at the University of Benin by agents of the Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, in an attempt to forcibly take possession of some properties of the university on which litigation is still on-going.
“On December 23, 2014, unidentified agents of the Edo State Government mercilessly beat up and forcefully threw out our members who occupied two properties of the university under litigation and purportedly sold to some powerful individuals in the state.
“On January 5, 2015 more of our members were brutalised by agents of the government with more houses destroyed on January 6; many of our members, including professors were given the beating of their lives when these unidentified agents swooped on ASUU members who dared to visit the site of the destroyed houses. The houses of these members were destroyed while their properties, including books and certificates, were buried in the rubbles.
“We believe that ours is a civilised society where the rule of law should be allowed to prevail rather than substituting it with the crude doctrine of ‘might is right’. It is very sad that a government that should provide accommodation for its citizens so crudely preoccupied itself with the destruction of their houses.
“It is indeed very sad that a supposed ‘peoples’ governor, a beneficiary of the rule of law and a former President of the Nigerian Labour Congress should be behind rendering Nigerians homeless.”
But in his swift reaction, Special Adviser (Media and Communication) to the Edo state Governor, Mr. Kassim Afegbua, said what the governor did was in line with the rule of law.
He said, “We are not in the business of giving threats; what we did was according to the rule of law and not the rule of man as being presently sensationalised by the UNIBEN community.
“We will not be intimidated as government, neither are we going to succumb to blackmail.
“We expect ASUU to get proper briefing and interface with government before jumping to the easiest blackmail of threat to their members. Don’t forget that Oshiomhole is a unionist who understands the dynamics of unionism and the limits of same.
“What we have simply done is to recover and repossess Edo State Government’s assets located around Government House in GRA.”
African Examiner reports that Students of UNIBEN recently took to the streets, protesting against the alleged destruction of some buildings occupied by senior lecturers of the ivory tower, on the orders of the state government.
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