Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Appointment of Acting VC: ASUU draws battle line with Government of C/River

Kelvin Obambon|6 November 2019 

CALABAR —The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Cross River University of Technology Chapter, has dared the Cross River State Government to appoint an Acting Vice Chancellor for the state owned institution outside the laid down guidelines for such appointment.

The union's position was made known by the chapter chairman, Dr Emmanuel Ettah, while addressing journalists on Tuesday night in Calabar. 

Ettah said that the state government's plan to appoint an Acting Vice Chancellor without the inputs from the university's governing council will amount to a flagrant disregard of the Nigerian University Amendment Act 2003, which grants autonomy to universities in the country.

He vowed that ASUU would exhaust every available means to ensure the protection of the institution's autonomy and as well as its own integrity and principles as a union.

The chairman also added that "if after eight months, the university could not have a substantive vice chancellor, it therefore means there's something fundamentally wrong.

"The tenure of the Acting Vice Chancellor will expire on November 7. By law, the Acting Vice Chancellor cannot continue, as she cannot be reappointed after six months in that capacity.

"Having not advertised the position of a VC, it is pertinent that we need to have an  Acting VC. But there's a procedure for appointing an Acting VC. The University Senate, through the management, will recommend few persons of the rank of professor to the governing council for onward forwarding to His Excellency, the visitor (governor) for appointment as Acting Vice Chancellor.

"As we speak, five names have been forwarded. We learned from very reliable source that the visitor wants to appoint an Acting VC outside that list. And that will be a bridge to University Miscellaneous Act 2003. The union feels if this is done, the autonomy of the university as entrenched in the constitution and between Nigerian universities and the Federal Government will be eroded. That might lead to litigation.

"The union is not out to embarrass government. It is poised to inform government that the due process is to appoint one person from the list of five persons submitted by the governing council of the university. The public should be aware that the visitor does not have the absolute power to appoint an Acting VC without the consent of the governing council.

"As a union, it is our duty to protect the law. It is our duty to protect the autonomy of the university. It is our duty to protect the integrity and principles of our union. If between now and November 7 the government goes ahead and appoint an Acting VC outside the names submitted, then the union will protect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The union will not hesitate to seek redress where necessary.", Ettah stated.

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