Joseph Ebi Kanjo, Benin
The crisis rocking the Edo State Government-owned Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma has deepened as news filtered in that the Executive Governor of Edo State and Visitor to the University, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has allegedly directed immediate sack of unspecified number of workers of the University over the recently conducted inconclusive staff biometrics verification exercise in the University.
The affected workers in the alleged gale of sack, according to the report, include the staff allegedly accused of disobedience and refusal to participate in the biometrics verification exercise, the staff who participated in the exercise but denied printout and the workers who participated in the recently suspended strike of ASUU, NASU, SSANU among others in the university.
The Special Intervention Team (SIT) of the University which disclosed this at a meeting of the SIT/Principal Officers of the University and all staff of the University on the state of affairs of the University on Thursday, 12th January, 2023 at Ekpoma was said to have announced that all the workers in this category are no longer staff of the University
It was gathered that Mr. Austin Osakue, a member of the SIT, who presided over the alleged rowdy and tension-soaked meeting, revealed that the SIT has directed the issuance of sack letters to the affected staff.
He was said to have specifically disclosed that all staff with alleged multiple ages or conflicting affidavits of age declaration will be sent to the University’s Staff Disciplinary Committee without further delay.
Mr. Osakue, who was said to have read the riot act to all staff of the University, also threatened tough measures in the following weeks in the University, just as he was also said to have insisted that the meeting was not met to “massage the ego of anybody”,
Mr. Osakue allegedly vowed that certain category of staff whom he described as “agents of darkness” would be sent parking from the University in the coming weeks.
He was also alleged to have hinted that the State Government has no intension to review upward the present paltry 41 million naira monthly subvention to the University and disclosed SIT’s plan to hike school fees payable by students in the university to enable the university run without government monthly subvention.
According to him, the University’s College of Medicine and Faculty of Law have been identified by SIT as “centres of excellence” where students would pay school fees of more than N2 million per academic session with effect from next academic session.
Report further had it that workers who attended the meeting expressed shock over the attitude, character and behavior of Mr. Osakue who was said to have stood in for the Chairman of SIT at the meeting.
They described attitude of Mr. Osakue as a flagrant display of ignorance, coarseness, tyranny, oppression and suppression.
Reports also have it that many staff were not allowed to air their views on the critical issues or make suggestions on how to resolve the problems.
Rather, Mr. Osakue was said to have allegedly embarked on bullying, intimidation and humiliation of staff, including Professors that attended the meeting.
The reports said that the meeting ended abruptly and in fiasco as a result of workers reaction to the outburst of Mr. Osakue.
The workers described Mr. Osakue claims that SIT was on top of the problem of unpaid salaries in the university as a hoax, alleging that the vast majority of workers have not been paid salaries for several months.
Investigation revealed that no fewer than 350 staff of the university have had their salaries stopped on the arbitrary order or directive of the University’s SIT without any form of query or existing disciplinary action against the affected staff.
It was also discovered that no specific reason or explanation has been offered to the affected individual staff for the sudden stoppage of their salaries since January, 2022 and till date this category of staff are being owed 12 months salaries.
It was revealed that during the meeting, SIT did not sympathize with workers denied salaries by the University Administration for twelve (12) months or showed any commitment towards resolving the matter justly and amicably.
Rather, Mr. Osakue was said to have stated that the state government has terminated the appointments of staff who participated in the recently suspended university unions strike and/or biometrics verification exercise issues.
Mr. Osakue allegedly described the issues of unpaid salaries and biometrics verification exercise as “no go areas” at the meeting against the expectation of workers that the meeting was designed to resolve the myriad problems and issue bedeviling the smooth administration, industrial harmony and progress of the University.
But in a swift reaction, ASUU, AAU, condemned in strong terms the “outburst, intimidation and humiliation of workers of the University by Mr. Osakue.”
A statement signed by Dr. Cyril Oziegbe Onogbosele and Dr. William Odion, Chairperson and Assistant Secretary respectively, ASUU said by his “unguided utterances, action and behaviour, he had reduced the university to “a banana republic” where there are no laws, rules, and regulations. ”
The Union expressed concern and fear that if the university is allowed to remain in its present situation, the University cannot experience meaningful learning and research, and may not deliver on its mandates to the people of Edo State and Nigerians.
The Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, which is one of the first state universities in Nigeria, has been drowning in avoidable crises allegedly caused by the attitude, policies and actions by authorities saddled with the responsibility of managing the university.
In addition to the visible aberration in the administrative structure of the university causing the institution to take the form of a rudderless ship, the deliberate refusal and failure of the University Administration to pay the salaries of the vast majority of staff of the University for twelve (12) months (January 2022 – December 2022) for no justifiable reasons has provoked uneasiness in the University.
The University’s indebtedness of unremitted check-off dues and sundry deductions to the various staff unions and workers’ cooperative bodies in the University is in millions of naira.
Investigation also revealed that the pain, anger, hunger and demoralization of workers and the administrative profligacy in the University have placed the University on the precipice of total collapse.
Many stakeholders and concerned persons have expressed fear that if the university is allowed to remain in the hands of the SIT, the University will metamorphose to a glorified high school.
How To Check 2023 WAEC Result On Your Phone Via SMS
The West African Examinations Council, WAEC, has released the 2023 West African Senior School Certificate Examinations, WASSCE, results.
The Council stated that it was able to surmount challenges of insecurity, and cash policy among others, via technological innovation that saw over 91 percent of candidates’ results released 44 days after the examination ended.
WAEC’s Head of Nigeria Office, Mr. Patrick Areghan, said this at a briefing on Monday, at the body’s national office, Yaba, Lagos.
For the students who will be checking results, here are steps to follow.
Step 1: Type: WAECExaminationnumberPIN*Examyear through your phone (there should not be a space in between).
Step 2: Send to 32327.
Step 3: You will receive a message instantly containing your WAEC statement of result.
It should be noted that only MTN, Glo and Airtel subscribers can actually check their WAEC results using this SMS method.
Students can repeat the step if they do not receive your WAEC result via SMS, kindly repeat this step again.
SMS charges will be applied when checking your WASSCE result using text messages.
You will need to have purchased the WAEC Direct Scratch card in order to check your result via text message. The scratch card pin is what is needed in the PIN section of the SMS you will send to 32327.
Candidates who registered for the May/June examination can do also access their results through the portal of WAEC.
BREAKING: 8 States Owing WAEC Won’t Have Candidates 2023 WASSCE Results
Eight states owing the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, for various services rendered, will not have their candidates’ 2023 West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE results, released.
This was stated at a press briefing on Monday at Press Briefing Hall, WAEC national office, Yaba, where the body lamented that the inability to pay for services rendered was posing a great challenge in the activities of the examination body.
Responding to a statement on the number of States owing WAEC, the National Office of the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, Mr. Patrick Areghan noted that: About eight States are owing WAEC. We won’t mention them all as some are going to pay.
“However, Zamfara and Niger states are the highest debtors. Again Zamfara did not present any candidate for this year’s WASSCE.” Areghan noted.
NANS Tackles ASUU Over Call For FUTO VC’s Resignation
The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has cautioned Academic Staff Union of Universities ,ASUU, over its call to the Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology Owerri, FUTO, Prof. Nnenna Oti, to resign.
It warned the university lecturers’ organisation to rescind from such ugly move or face the wrath of students.
The students’ body which noted that the FUTO vice chancellor had not done anything wrong to deserve such call, accused ASUU of being responsible for instability in the nation’s universities.
Recall that members of ASUU, Owerri zone, had last Friday, demanded the immediate resignation of the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Prof. Nnenna Oti, over alleged corrupt practices and anti-union activities.
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ASUU, through its Zonal Coordinator, Dennis Aribodor, at press conference in Awka, Anambra State capital,demanded immediate resignation of the FUTO Vice Chancellor.
The union is composed of members from Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo State University, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umuahia and Nnamdi Azikiwe University,Awka.
But reacting to ASUU demand while addressing the media, Sunday evening, in Abuja, NANS’ Vice President,Comrade Ezenagu Victor, while noting that ASUU had long deviated from its core mandate,called on the federal government to proscribe the union.
He said: “It has become expedient to address the unbecoming attitude of the leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities. The latest of which is the provocative call by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU,zonal leaders for the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology,Owerri,to resign her position over alleged corruption.
“We feel concerned to react to the ASUU demand because the Vice Chancellor of FUTO, Prof. Nnena Oti, is a mentor to many of us, particularly, our female folks. We were shocked when we read about the ASUU demand in most national dailies about the woman who has personified integrity, honesty and transparency. Sequel to this, NANS has been able to carry out investigation by interacting with both students and staff of the institution”.
“Although we were not able to have any discussion with members of FUTO Management as they said part of the issue we wanted to inquire of was already in court. Our finding has shown that the allegations against the vice chancellor were not only unfounded, but also malicious and wicked. Testimonial evidences garnered by NANS points to the fact that the action of the ASUU leaders is a mere political vendetta.”
NANS claimed that the alleged attack on Prof. Nnenna was because of her gender, as well as transparency in the discharge of her duties as Vice Chancellor.
“Those who lost to her during the vice chancellorship contest as well as those who could not use her to achieve their ungodly aims during the national assignment have resulted to using ASUU to grind their axe with her, thus making the university ungovernable,” he alleged.
He spoke further: “We, the National Association of Nigerian Students, wish to draw the attention of ASUU in particular and the public in general, that those fighting the Vice Chancellor of FUTO by proxy are obviously threatening peace and tranquility in the university.
“We are already informed that the disturbance is aimed at causing industrial action at the university so as to bring her to disrepute at the expense of students’ learning. It should be well noted that all industrial disputes have major side effects on students who suffer untold hardship during and after such disputes.”
Some of the effects,he mentioned,include waste of students’ precious time, amounting to the students spending longer years in the university and waste of resources, as student end up paying more school fees.
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