RELIEF may still be far from students of Edo State’s Ambrose Alli University (AAU) Ekpoma despite indications that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may soon suspend its over three months old strike, as the AAU chapter of University teachers yesterday threatened to embark on its own strike action until a substantive vice-chancellor was appointed for the school.
A statement signed by the Chairman of the ASUU, Prof. Fred Esumeh and Secretary, Dr. Stanley Omoikhoje, lamented that the school has been without a substantive vice chancellor in the last three years saying that the situation was hindering progress in the university.
According to them, “the union had in the past made several efforts to draw attention of the Governing Council and government on the need to appoint a substantive vice-chancellor for the university in consonance with the law and best practice of how a university runs all over the world.
“For the information of the public, the union’s efforts to ensure that a substantive vice-chancellor is appointed culminated in the visit of a delegation of our National Executive Council (NEC) to the Visitor to the University on April 8, 2013. A fallout from the meeting was the understanding and promise of the Visitor to swiftly resolve the question about the appointment of a substantive vice-chancellor.
“This understanding was followed by a permission of NEC to our branch to embark on an industrial action if on expiration of the time lag granted by NEC the appointment of a substantive vice-chancellor is not made. Again, for the information of the public, that time lag expired on July 31, 2013.
“In fact, the union had before now advised and encouraged the Governing Council to explore the period of our on-going national strike action to commence and, if possible, conclude the process for the appointment of a substantive vice-chancellor” the statement read in part.
The aggrieved union added, “it seems to us that our well-intentioned advise has not been heeded. We wish to categorically let the public know that the Union will be constrained to invoke our NEC permission to embark on a strike action in the event that the on-going national strike action is suspended and the Governing Council is yet to appoint a substantive vice-chancellor.”