Chides Edo Speaker For Connivance
The National Executive Council (NEC) of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Alumni Association Worldwide has in strong term condemned the University Special Intervention Powers Provisions Law 2021, which empowers the visitor to the University who happens to be Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to appoint an acting Vice Chancellor for the University.
Edo State House of Assembly had recently passed a law ceding the administration of the state-owned University, Ekpoma to Governor Godwin Obaseki,
through what it called ‘Special Intervention Powers for visitor to the University.’
The passage was sequel to the consideration of the bill as requested by Governor Obaseki.
The bill empowers the visitor to set a special intervention team comprising experts to manage the affairs of the university during the period of the special intervention.
The bill further conferred on the visitor powers to appoint interim principal officers for the day-to-day management of the University, just as it empowers the visitor to approve all financial expenditures over and above the approval limit of the special intervention team.
Acting on the power confined on him by the new law, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki on May, 11, 2021 appointed Prof. Osarhieme Benson Osadolor as the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University and dissolved the Governing Council.
But in an emergency meeting held in Benin over the weekend, the Alumni NEC frowned at what it termed the
“unprecedented amendment of the University Law by the Ambrose Alli University (Special intervention Powers) provisions law 2021′, which resulted in the appointment of an Acting Vice Chancellor for the University by the Edo State government.
A communique signed by its President, Chief Dave Emakunu Esq. and Hon. Johnson Idolor Akpolome, Secretary respectively, the Alumni also condemned what it termed a deliberate attempt to damage the cherished image of the University which according to them has produced quality manpower who are holding forth in their respective endeavors.
Further condemning the industrial actions by all the unions in the University which has paralyzed academic activities, the Alumni chided the Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly for the role he played in the passage of the “obnoxious law and the deliberate underfunding of the University by the Edo State government.”
The Communique reads in part:
“The National Executive Council(NEC) of AAU, Ekpoma expresses displeasure at the Ambrose Alli University Special intervention Powers Provisions law, 2021 which was hurriedly passed by the Edo State House of Assembly without due process as there was no public hearing to seek the input of all the major stakeholders in the University and the general public.
“NEC condemned the new law in its entirety and sought that it be repealed without further delay, as the law is capable of causing anarchy in the University and creating a legacy reminiscent of military dictatorship. By that, the appointment of an Acting Vice-Chancellor should follow due process and with a definite duration, after which the process of appointing a substantive Vice-Chancellor should commence by the 1999 University law as amended.
“The dissolution of the Governing Council of the University was done in bad faith and should be rescinded as there are no indicting reports against the Council in the Public domain.
“NEC calls on the Government to immediately consider the Visitation Panel’s report and issue a white paper that would guide future actions in the University and by best governance practices as was done in the case of the University of Lagos recently.
“NEC expressed displeasure over the repeated scandalous remarks made by the Edo State Government about the products of the University and viewed such remarks as an attempt to give a “dog a bad name to kill it”. Most of the products of our University are doing excellently well in their choosing endeavors.”
While sympathising with all unions in the University over the hardship occasioned by non-payment of salaries, checkoff dues, and other sundry deductions running into several months, the body called on the state government to, as a matter of concern, do the needful to enable the striking unions call off their strike and return to work.
“We noted with dismay the actions of the members of the Edo State House of Assembly who are Alumni of the University in colluding, conniving, and condoning the enactment of the obnoxious law. Accordingly, NEC passed a vote of no confidence on them.
“NEC expressed with dismay the level of underfunding of the University and calls on the Edo State government, to as a matter of urgency, adopt genuine ways of ensuring adequate funding of the University.”
The Alumni said it has resolved to collaborate with the government and the University to facilitate regular and adequate funding of the University.
Its appealed to Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki to follow best practices in the University in genuinely exercising his visitorial powers.