Governing Council Chair Suspension: ASUU, NASU, SSANU, Shut UNN Indefinitely, Demand VC’s SackFeatured, Ignatius Okpara, Latest News, News Thursday, December 19th, 2013
IGNATIUS OKPARA, Enugu
Less than 24 hours the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, called off its 5-month old industrial action, the University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN was Wednesday shut down indefinitely by workers of the institution.
The development followed a heavy protest staged by three labour unions in the institution, namely ASSU , NASU and SSANU whose members are demanding for the immediate reinstatement of chairman of the University Governing Council, Prof Emeka Enejere, and sack of the Vice Chancellor, professor Bartho Okolo.
African Examiner reports that professor Enejere, was on Tuesday suspended on the orders of the supervising minister of education, Nyesom Wike, who did not give any reason for his action.
However, all the workers union had during the protest which lasted several hours, insisted on the immediate sack of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bartho Okolo, accusing him of promoting corruption in the university.
The workers made up of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities, NASU, and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAT, chanted songs saying it was the Vice Chancellor, Prof Bartho Okolo, instead, who should be sacked.
They, alleged that the UNN VC, do not believe in due process in running the affairs of the university, a development according to them, has created a lot of problem and financial recklessness in the premier ivory tower, describing Okolo, as a corrupt leader who is not worthy of occupying a public office.
After marching through various parts of the university for over seven hours, they dispersed, promising to return for daily demonstrations until the Council Chairman was reinstated and other ills of the university which they alleged originated from Prof Okolo were addressed.
Members of the three trade union groups, numbering over 1000, who carried placards with various inscriptions such as “Pro-chancellor must come back”, “Enejere must come back”, “Batho must go” were led by the three leaders of the unions, Comrade Dr. Ifeanyi Abada, Comrade Godfrey Ugwu and Comrade Onwu Anthony.
Briefing newsmen shortly at the end of the demonstration, the workers expressed dismay over the leadership style of Prof Okolo, insisting that the only way forward was his immediate removal from office.
Hear one of the union leader “We have to reiterate that the University of Nigeria under the leadership of Prof Batho Okolo is in ruins.
“The history of the University today is the history maladministration, financial impropriety and recklessness, contract splitting and money laundering”, the workers stated at the Freedom Square of the University.
They also condemned the suspension of Dr Enejere by the minister, even when he had been discharging his functions as council chairman effectively and creditably.
The workers however, accused Wike of shielding and encouraging the corrupt Vice Chancellor, even against the basic principles of President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda.
“We challenge the supervising minister of education and his partner /adviser in chief and collaborator Prof Julius Okojie, the executive secretary of National University Commission NUC, to explain the following: Why he hastily suspended a council chairman without any form of query?
“The justification for suspending Dr Enejere without reason?
“Why he is encouraging corruption in the Universities?
“Why he is shielding and encouraging corrupt vice chancellors and tainted officers in his ministry?
“Why he refused to react to the compendium of corrupt activities of the Vice Chancellor, UNN, which were articulated by the unions?”
They, therefore, demanded the immediate reinstatement of the pro-chancellor, vowing that anything on the contrary, activities on the campus will remain halted.
“In view of the foregoing, the unions demand the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of Dr. Emeka Enejere as the chairman UNN Governing Council.
“We have had enough of this impunity; we request Mr. President to intervene and call the minister to order”, they said.
Our Correspondent learnt that until the Pro-Chancellor’s suspension on Tuesday, he had been in cold war with the Vice-Chancellor.
African Examiner gathered that unlike the former Pro-Chancellor, Enejere had continued to insist that due process must be followed in all the dealings in the university, a method a source close to the institution said has not been going down well with the VC.
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