National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, has declared that any move by the Federal Government or its agent, including Labour Minister Chris Ngige to ban the union will fail.
Osodeke said ASUU’s philosophy is premised on aligning with a worthy cause for the progress of the country’s educational sector and its positive multiplier effects on every other areas of the nation.
The ASUU President also warned Vice Chancellors of public universities to shun dressing themselves in apparels of Chief Executive Officers (C.E.Os) of universities when in reality, they are just the first among their equals in the academic community.
Osodeke spoke while delivering his goodwill message at the special commemorative programme organised by the ASUU chapter of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye in Ogun State to honour the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Ganiyu Olatunde, whose tenure ended two weeks ago and was succeeded by a Cancer Pathologist, Prof. Deji Agboola.
Osodeke, who described Ngige as a jester over his efforts at proscribing ASUU, also berated the Federal Government for always being envious of ASUU’s achievements at setting qualitative and enduring standards in the areas of infrastructural provisions and services when compared to the substandard it preferred dishing out despite the sufficient fund at its disposal to provide such.
“I can see why Ngige is interested in banning ASUU because once ASUU is proscribed, all the union’s assets automatically becomes federal government’s property, even when the government is bereft of ideas to put in place, qualitative assets in the midst of sufficient funds at its disposal as done in the University of Ibadan, UniPort, University of Maiduguri among other places”.
“You will never succeed in banning ASUU because ours is a union that assesses the system and aligns with worthy course without being biased for the progress of the Nigerian educational society.”
Commenting on the VCs and ASUU’s relationship towards achieving excellent university administration, Osodeke maintained that any Vice Chancellor, who looks at the system and sees himself as one among equals will not have problem running his university.
Citing examples of some universities where their VCs and Visitors see give approval before a university lecturer can be promoted, even despite the recommendation of the governing councils for such, he said some university VCs act with military fiats.
“One thing we have gotten wrong is that in the universities, we look at the VCs as Chief Executive Officers (C.E.Os) which by the law, it is not true. A Vice Chancellor is just one among equals and it’s only when he sees himself as one that he will not have problem with ASUU”.
“All the actions and things done by the committee set up; you are to look at those committees’ actions and agree or disagree. And when you disagree, you go back to them. Unfortunately, what we currently have in Nigeria is that over 90 percent of our universities today are VCs, who looks at themselves as C.E.Os and there is no where in the laws that permits a VC as C.E.O. because everything he does can be challenged”.