President of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, and other union leaders during the press conference in Abuja on Monday
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has set up an independent committee to probe what it describes as questionable appointment of the minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami, as a Professor of Cyber Security at the Federal University of Technology Owerri.
This was as the Union issued a three week ultimatum to the federal government to meet all its demands contained in the Memorandum of Action (MoA). The Union also demanded that the government honour its own part of the MOA, which was signed by both parties on December 23, 2020 , or plunge the university system into another crisis of industrial action.
President of ASUU, Comrade Emmanuel Osodeke, who addressed newsmen on Monday in Abuja, following the Union’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held over the weekend, listed several criteria for the position of professorship of which the minister was said to lack.
The Union rejected Dr Pantami’s academic position in its entirety, saying: “we know something is wrong in the appointment of Isa Pantami as a Professor, it doesn’t look right.
“Having rejected the ASUU-FUTO Committee’s report, NEC set up an independent committee to investigate all issues surrounding the controversial appointment of Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) as a Professor of Cyber Security in the University.
“Thereafter, the position of ASUU-NEC shall be made known to the public. In addition , another committee shall visit the ASUU-FUTO branch with a view to determining the role of members in the controversial appointment and report back to NEC for further action.”
On government’s continued disregard for the Memorandum of Actions (MoA) signed by both parties, the Union lamented that all the various reports and promises made by government were yet to be implemented and fulfilled respectively.
“We are very dis-saisfied with governments attitude to our issues. We have given the government three weeks to meet our demands during the NEC meeting we had Saturday and Sunday.
“We call on patriotic Nigerians and livers of Nigeria to prevail on the Federal Government and State governments to act fast to prevent another round of industrial crisis in Nigeria’s public universities.
“It is painful that our Union may soon have no other way of securing the implementation of FGN-ASUU collectively bargained agreements and redressing the criminal neglect of welfare issues of our members by state governors.
Governments of Nigeria should be held responsible should ASUU be forced to activate the strike it patriotically suspended on 23rd December 2020.
Reporting by Daniel Adejo; Editing by Tina Oyinsan