….Say their allegations of faulty process is untrue, as rival Union mocks ASUU for being inconsistent
From Kehinde Adewole
Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and some staff members who belong to the non-academic unions of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) have disassociated themselves from claims made by a few members of ASUU, Akure zone led by Prof. Olu Olu and some members of the non-academic staff who on Monday, faulted the on -going process of electing a new Vice-Chancellor of the university.
The ASUU, Akure zone and one Comrade Abioye James of National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), had raised the alarm that they have lost confidence in the process of electing a new VC to replace out-going Prof. Kayode Soremekun, alleging that the VC and Chairman of the Governing Council have preffered candidates and making plans to impose such candidates. But in a swift reaction, members of ASUU in FUOYE and other members of the non-academic unions in the institution on Tuesday, have disassociated themselves from the allegations, declaring that the on-going process to elect the next FUOYE VC has been fair, transparent, hitch-free, democratic and devoid of any vested interest or imposition.
A top member of the selection Committee who was duly elected by the University community, Prof. Mojisola Oyarekua told our Correspondent that the process has been fair and transparent. She added that although, some members of the council did not show up during the selection process but that a qourum was formed before the last excercise commenced and was concluded successfully.
Alleging that some may have vested interest for their own pecuniary gains, she said both out-going VC and current Chairman of the Council, Dr. Mohammed Yahuza have allowed the process to be fair and transparent, adding that neither of the two have any preffered candidate or making plans to impose any.
Narrating some issues that occurred which were later resolved, she said: ” At the Lagos meeting of the Council, it was decided that the search committee should reach out to the north west and north east regions by telephone or online, since there is security situation in those parts of the country and since we didn’t even have any applicants from there. Meanwhile, the committee wanted to go physically.
But it was just for the search committee to reach out to those two regions. I leant the Management had actually taken care of this search Committee financially earlier but it appeared like they wanted more.
” Another issue was that we had decided that long list of applicatoons should be handed over to the selection committee by the two representatives of council, (their names withheld) and such excercise would not take more than thirty minutes. When the council decided on that in Lagos, a member who later objected to it was there when the decision was taken and he did not raise any objection then. But suddenly when we got to Abuja, he called me to say that he would not be coming and I asked him why, he said it was illegal and I querried him, asking what is illegal about an arrangement that representatives of the Council should receive the applications on behalf of the Council? I asked him if he wanted to drag the name of the University in the mud.
So, since he opted out at the last stage and the other member was sick, it was decided that other members of Council such as the DVC academics and the Registrar should replace those absent so that we can form a qourom and we formed a qourom at the time we met as Council and we used the template approved by the National Universiies’ Commission (NUC) to do a thorough job. We checked all the 65 CVs one after the other, we were all given all the applications and we thoroughly searched all the CVs and scored them using the NUC template as our guideline. We did a through job. We even re-checked allthe CVs that have been checked before to ensure it was a job done thoroughly.
” Even the chairman of the Council said he has no preferred candidate and he has been fair all through the process. I personally, l am pleased with what we did. I have a clear conscience. I do not have any ulterior motive and my mind is at rest. But some members acted in a suspicious way that make us suspect they have some personal interest and that they just wanted the University to waste money unneccesarily..
I am happy we did a through job on the selection. We haven’t done the interview and that is the next phase. I don’t know why they are raising a false alarm that the VC has a candidate when indeed the process is still on-going and it has been adjugded by majority to be fair and transparent,” she said.
While disassociating themselves from allegations by ASUU, Akure zone, both
Prof Tajudeen Opoola, Dean, Faculty of Arts, FUOYE, and Associate Professor Abiodun Ajiboye of the Department of Plant Science and Bio-Technology, described ASUU Akure zone as meddlesome Interlopers who have worse issues in their domain but poke-nosing into local matters of FUOYE while most ASUU members in FUOYE have no issues with the on-going process. They also disowned some members of the non-academic unions in FUOYE who said they lost confidence in the VCship process.
Oppoola said: ” My own take is that when you look through the issue at hand, it appears as if there is a pre-determined plan to truncate the process. In a situation whereby some are saying that all internal applicants should not be considered in the selection, such is suspicious. Are all internal applicants not members of ASUU? and has there been any crime they commited? That resolution at the Monday Akure ASUU Congress exposed them as having ulterior motives on this matter. They said some members of the Council didn’t partake in the selection process but I ask, has that allegations been confirmed? or has it been confirmed that they didn’t take part because the process was not fair? This is a very sensitive issue which should be carefully handled. We know their thinking is that what happened in U.I and UNILAG must happen in FUOYE, but these are different issues. The process here has been very fair and transparent. There was an advert, and it has it’s stipulations according to laid down rules and there was a selection, search committee duly elected, there was Senate representatives duly elected, congressional representatives that were also duly elected. All these process were transparent and fair and we all took part in it as members of the university community.
I want to advise these characters raising false alarm to behave like true intellectuals and get their facts straight and correct before rushing to the press to raise false alarm and mislead the public.
” I am speaking as a member of the University community, as a Senate member, and as a member of the University congregation. I participated in the election of search committee, Senate representatives and I am not talking for the Council. There are so many terrible anomalies in other varsities’ particularly, the Ekiti State University (EKSU) where this ASUU, Akure zone came from, but the same ASUU Akure are not raising dust on those.
Personally, I think the false alarm is just a ploy to halt the fair process that is on going. But we have faith in the process because we know it is fair and transparent Those raising dust are just doing so because they have ulterior and selfish interests which they want to use to truncate a fair and transparent system that is good for all. We wonder why they are directing their arsenals on FUOYE. We know that some people were shortchanged in payment of salaries in EKSU and ASUU did not raise any dust on that. I advise that these characters should behave like true Nigerians devoid of selfish interests and hidden agenda. We should discard such idea that what happened in U.I and UNILAG must happen in FUOYE, our case is far different because the process here has been fair and transparent.”
Corroborating Prof. Opoola, Dr.Ajiboye, said allegations by ASUU Akure zone and some members of the non-academic unions are baseless and unfounded and do not represent the views of the majority. His words: “Their allegations are untrue, unfounded and baseless. This is because the selection process is still on-going. How can any one say the VC and Council chairman have ulterior motives?. That is uncalled for. Those ASUU Akure zone are not speaking for us, neither are the so called non- academic Union members so mentioned speaking for us. This antagonism is not new to us because we know the ASUU Akure zone are hell bent on destroying the image of our University. I wonder what is their interest in the appointment of our next VC. We are not disturbed because we know the FG in its own wisdom has appointed capable hands who are fair minded and transparent and are serving in the right direction. I wonder why some terrible characters in the name of ASUU Akure are now whipping up sentiments against a very fair and transparent system. It is high time we rise up against their evil machinations,” he said.
Barrister Ayodeji lge is the chairman and Convener of the Congress of Nigeria University Academics (CONUA) which is a rival academic Union in FUOYE, he mocked ASUU as a union in FUOYE, saying they are inconsistent.
His words: ” You find out that, that is one of the major reasons CONUA broke away from ASUU. It is only a bastard that will use the left hand to point to his father’s house. ASUU has been part and parcel of the process from the beginning. These characters are supposed to be intellectuals who should think but I don’t know the kind of intellectuals we are breeding now. Was ASUU not part of the congregation?, were they part of the University community that elected representatives at the Council?. Were they not part of the university community that elected the the search team that went round the regions to look for candidates?, were they not part of the selection committee?
” All the unions in FUOYE had inputs in the process since it began. These characters are just now shedding crocodile tears. We are back to the old era of identity politics, a politics of we against them. For their information, All righteousness have been fulfilled in the on-going process. All the conditions have been met. About the Council meeting they are faulting, there was a qourum and the law says once there is a qourum, you move on and all decisions taken are biding.
” The ASUU Akure zone, how did they appoint the current VC in EKSU? did his appointment follow due process? Was he not handpicked? And that is where ASUU Akure zone is from. They are having issues with their salaries but they didn’t raise dust on that. What is their interest here in FUOYE? This process will be completed and it cannot be truncated by any false alarm. It is a mobile train and if anyone refuses to join it, the train would leave them behind.”