EBONYI, Nigeria – The lingering crisis that existed between the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Ebonyi State chapter and the governor Chief David Umahi, on Tuesday deepened, as efforts to resolve the matter deadlocked.
However, the National leadership of ASUU, who held meeting with Governor David Umahi at the Governor’s New Lodge, located at the Ocho Udo city Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital, expressed dismay over the alleged reaction of the governor towards resolving the protracted crisis.
Recall that Ebonyi State University had since eight months ago been rocked with crisis, and most importantly engulfed by strike, resulting from unpaid five months salaries to lecturers.
The National Vice President of ASUU, Academic, Prof. Osodeke Emmanuel, who was seen to be visibly angry after the meeting with the governor, said it is unlawful for the Ebonyi State University to be without a governing council.
He said: “We came here because of the shortcomings among our members in Ebonyi State University. And we believe that since the university did not have a governing board, we decided to meet with the visitor of the university.
“The governing council of the university was dissolved two months ago, and has not been constituted. The law didn’t envisage that and that’s why we decided to meet with the visitor since there was no governing council.
“We are not happy because the issue we raised was not attended to. The rather minor issue of personality dominated the main purpose we came for, which is the problems facing Ebonyi State University, and that’s why the meeting ended in deadlock.
“Instead of talking about the problems facing the university, the visitor concentrated on calling the ASUU chairman, a small boy. And that he cannot relate with our chairman here and that’s why the meeting ended in deadlock. We will meet with the congress tomorrow and they will take their decision, and then we will meet with the national and they will take their decision.
“The threat on the Ebonyi ASUU chairman Mr. Ikechukwu Igwenyi, was repeated by the governor and that if anything goes wrong, he (Igwenyi) will be held responsible” he stated.
In a swift reaction, the governor David Umahi, who spoke to journalists through the Commissioner for Education Dr. Onyebuchi Chima, blamed ASUU for coming unprepared.
“I will say that what happened today at the meeting was a show of unpreparedness on part of ASUU and on the part of the people that came.
“The information they provided was erroneous. Let’s put it on record that before they (ASUU) came, not even the ministry of education was away from their coming. Not the SSA on higher education, not even the university, you don’t go to the visitor first, without first of all finding out the issues.
“Information is power, yet they didn’t have any information. The prior information they have is malicious,” he stated.