The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ambrose Alli Umivrrsity branch, Ekpoma in Edo State, has raised objection to the alleged refusal by Management of the University /Special Intervention Team (SIT) to withdraw the sack letters issued to two of its members.
Recall that the State government had ordered immediate withdrawal of letters of disengagement issued to 21 Staff of the institution on 10th March, 2023 over wage dispute between members of ASUU and the government before the general election held in the State.
In a statement jointly signed by Chairman, ASUU, AAU, Ekpoma, Dr. Cyril Onogbosele and Dr. William Odion, the Assistant Secretary of ASUU, AAU, Dr. Cyril Onogbosele, the Union described the situation as appalling and worrisome about the defiance of the aforementioned University authorities against the backdrop of the pronouncement by Edo State government order to reinstate the two members.
The Union said, “On the same matter, among other issues, at the meeting of the Visitor to the University and governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki with Stakeholders on 16th March, 2023, the Governor reaffirmed the earlier position of the State Government that he did not authorize the disengagement of the aforesaid Staff in the University “, according to ASUU.
The statement also recalled that during the meeting, a panel was constituted by the Governor to deal with the crises bedeviling industrial harmony and peace in the University.
“The defiance and impunity displayed so far by the University authorities over the disengagement letters that are not sanctioned by Edo State Government are disturbing.
“The Union is worried that contrary to Government’s stance, the Head of the Department of Economics where one of the disengaged staff, Dr. Jude Obasanmi works has brazenly enforced the disengagement letter to the extent of denying him access to his office and re-allocating his course(s) to other lecturers. Efforts to make the Head of Department (HoD) respect the stance of higher authorities on the matter have proved abortive.
The Union also said, the silence of the SIT and University Management over non-withdrawal of the sack letters, is a ploy to wish away the matter and render the affected staff perpetually sacked. This is unacceptable!”.
According to ASUU, “It is instructive to inform the public that the two academic staff issued disengagement letters were not queried, tried or found guilty of any misconduct/gross misconduct or violation of the University’s law/regulations to warrant the treatment meted out to them. Their appointments with the University are statutorily flavoured and their employments cannot be wished away the way the University has done.
“To redress the illegal sack of the two members of our Union, the Union insists on unconditional withdrawal of the disengagement/retirement letters and the reinstatement of the affected individuals without further delay, in line with Government’s earlier pronouncement on the matter.
“The Union has resolved that if the letters of disengagement/retirement are not unconditionally withdrawn by the University authorities, the Union may be compelled to engage in legal processes to resolve the matter.
“The Union appeals to Edo State Government and the general public to prevail on the SIT and the University Management to unconditionally withdraw, without further delay, the aforesaid letters of disengagement/retirement issued to our members in submission to the decision and directive of the Edo State Government on the matter”, ASUU said at the moment, there is no evidence of a formal inauguration of the Panel.
TheNewspad reports that there are concerns that the number of crises militating against the wellbeing of the University Management may erode the progress that has been recorded so far except urgent steps are taken to address the challenges.