UI: Unions fault Senate on selection of VC

UI: Unions fault Senate on selection of VC

The two non-academic staff unions of University of Ibadan (UI) have protested against alleged plans to impose a candidate as the next vice chancellor of the institution.


The Joint Action Congress (JAC) of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) of UI conveyed their dissent at a news conference in Ibadan on Thursday.


The unions faulted the sanctions recommended by UI Senate on Wednesday after its emergency and extraordinary meeting.


It would be recalled that UI Senate had condemned the two unions for disrupting the election process for the 13th Vice-Chancellor of the university on Oct. 28.


The Senate then said that normal disciplinary measures should be instituted against members of the two unions that disrupted the process with the protest.


The two unions, however, emphasized that the role of the Senate was purely academic, saying that it had no jurisdiction to recommend punishment for members of any protesting union.


SSANU Chairman in UI, Wale Akinremi, in the company of Malachy Etim, Abiodun Omisore, NASU Chairman of UI College of Medicine, and Akinlolu Akinlade, chided the Senate for neglecting its primary responsibilities and pursuing a different agenda.


The union leader also  questioned the true representation at the Senate meeting.


Akinremi described the threat of the university’s Senate to punish the union members as a joke taken too far.


He pointed out that the Act establishing the university had defined the lines of responsibility of the various arms of governance in the most unambiguous terms.


He stressed that every member of staff of the university had an appointment which had been gazetted by the Federal Government.


Akinremi said: “The responsibility of the Senate is purely academic but not union matters. We want the Federal Government to pay academic staff because idleness is affecting them.


“The Senate has no right to sit on our matters. They don’t have the right to sit on our matters.


“We will not use our energy to address what they said. We can’t take them seriously; it is not a reflection of the University of Ibadan Senate.


“Those people who sat at the  Senate on Wednesday are anti-people. When was the last time they discussed the management of UI?


“The people that sat yesterday are not discussing strike. We will not use our energy to discuss what people, who are not discussing ASUU strike, are saying.


“All Nigerians have a say in the public domain. We have the right to say something on UI VC”.


“The meeting is not a true representation of the UI Senate, it is shallow. That shows that they have lost it. We have over 600 members of the Senate and only 188 attended the meeting. They don’t have the right to sit on our rights.”


Akinremi, who assured members that it was just the beginning of the struggle to salvage the university, added that only God knew the next Vice-Chancellor of the university.


“We have made our position known and we know we cannot be a judge in our own case.


“While we await the final resolution of the conundrum, we want to use this platform to commend all the shortlisted candidates for their maturity and forbearance during the protest.


“We also appreciate the Council chairman for his fatherly presence to address our Congress,” he added.


Akinremi, however, called on the Federal Government to pay the salaries of the lecturers and engender a paradigm shift towards strengthening academic quality with the idea.


“We are also going to recommend a comprehensive change in the process of the appointment of Vice-Chancellors.


“The powers of the Vice-Chancellor in the selection of the Deputy Vice-Chancellors must be reduced. Composition of councils must also be reviewed,” he said.


In the meantime, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has dissociated itself from the activities of the non-academic unions in a bulletin dated Oct. 28.


ASUU, nonetheless, solicited a level playing ground for all the contenders in the appointment of the next VC of the University of Ibadan so as to protect the sanctity of the university autonomy.

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