Workers in University of Nigeria, Nsukka, added a new dimension to the trouble in the crisis-ridden university when they shocked the new Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Mr. Emmanuel Ukala, SAN, by rejecting his offer of scholarship to indigent students.
The workers issued a public statement rejecting the money, yesterday, under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee, JAC, comprising of lecturers and non-academic staff.
Leaders, who signed the statement that was circulated on both campuses of the University were: Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Abada, Chairperson of the Academic Staff Union of the Universities, ASUU; Paul Erua, Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities; Godfrey Okeke Ugwu, Chairman, Non-Academic Staff Union, Nsukka Campus; and Patrick Emeter, Chairman, Non-Academic Staff Union, Enugu Campus.
They rejected Mr. Ukala’s scholarships worth N2million as a “Greek gift,” saying it was designed to divert attention from the pressing problems of the university, which according to them, included exploitation of the students by the present administration of the university and lack of facilities for effective academic work.
They said: “Do our students need the paltry scholarship or the removal of the N25, 000 (per student) acceptance fee, Internet fee of N18, 000 (per student) and other sundry charges on our dear students?”
They also demanded immediate reinstatement of student unionism which the administration of Vice Chancellor, Professor Bartho Okolo banned five years ago.
The workers’ leaders also enumerated lack of lecture halls and habitable hostels as some of the problems demanding urgent attention.
JAC’s statement was its second in less than three days. At the weekend, it circulated a warning that its suspended demonstrations would resume unless the Federal Government recalled the popular former Pro-Chancellor, Dr. Emeka Enejere, who was removed by supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, without giving any reasons.
In its current statement, JAC said: “Dr. Emeka Enejere-led Council came, heard us, talked to us, gave us hope, gave us voice and confidence and liberated us … On Enejere-led Council we stand.”
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