Crisis is brewing at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, as the university’s staff unions have complained against the activities of Special Intervention Team (SIT) that was recently set up by the state government to perform the full functions of the Governing Council of the university.
In separate statements released to newsmen yesterday in Benin City, the university’s staff unions, including the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), alleged that the university’s conditions, as evident in the erosion of its autonomy, has worsened, following the retardation of administrative activities and the worsening financial health of the university.
The unions called on the Visitor to the University and Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, to sack SIT to restore the autonomy and boost development of the university in all ramifications.
“The activities of SIT are antithetical to the progress and development of the university,” the staff unions insisted.
In an open letter to Obaseki, the university’s chapter of ASUU said it was constrained by the deteriorating turn of events in the university to write an open letter to Obaseki, wherein the union averred that it “is bemused to observe that the activities of the SIT in the university since inauguration as a result of the abysmal” mismanagement of the University.
The open letter, signed by Dr. Cyril Oziegbe Onogbosele and Dr. William Odion, Chairperson and Assistant Secretary of ASUU AAU, Ekpoma, respectively said the union is bemused to observe that the activities of the SIT in the university since inauguration leaves much to be desired and have consequently negated the supposed functions of a Governing Council and defeated the purported interventionist or reformist agenda of the state government in the university.
ASUU said: “Whereas it is true that SIT was set up by the state government to exercise the full functions of the Governing Council of the University; whereas it is correct that the SIT, which currently fills the lacuna of the absence of a Governing Council in the University ought to operate at the level of policy formulation for adequate funding, intellectual/academic and infrastructural development of the university as well as ensure good policies on the discipline of staff and students; whereas it is true that the SIT ought to be saddled with the responsibility of formulating policies to curb all forms of mismanagement, corruption and fraud in the University.
“ X-raying the activities of the SIT in recent months in the university, the union said it was piqued and unable to contain a silence in the face of a continuing ultra vires of the SIT, resulting in a systemic and unprecedented erosion of the autonomy of the university, financial profligacy and unacceptable usurpation of some administrative functions and authorities of the University.”
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