Learning activities were paralysed in universities across the country on Thursday as lecturers complied with the one-day solidarity strike called by the Academic Staff Union of Universities over the reappointment of Prof.
Bariname Fakae as Vice-Chancellor of Rivers State University of Science and Technology by the state government.
ASUU condemned the decision to reappoint Fakae, saying Governor Rotimi Amaechi, who is the Visitor to the university, did not follow due process in confirming the appointment.
Reports from Ekiti, Oyo, as well as Lagos, Plateau, Bayelsa, Enugu, Sokoto, Delta and Kano states said no learning activities took place in universities.
At the University of Abuja, project/thesis defence was cancelled following the strike.
The UniAbuja Chairman, Dr. Clement Chup, who addressed a press conference at the school’s mini-campus in Gwagwalada, said the strike was legitimate and justified considering the issues at stake.
He said, “We have resolved to withdraw our services to express our unflinching support and solidarity with our colleagues at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology.”
The Lagos State University postponed all examinations due to the strike.
This was contained in a bulletin distributed in the school campuses.
LASU Students Union Public Relations Officer, Mr. Adeleke Stephen, who condemned the imposition of the VC, urged ASUU to consider the students in its actions.
Chairman of the University of Jos ASUU Dr. David Yakubu, who spoke to journalists in Jos, said the intervention of President Goodluck Jonathan was necessary to avert a national industrial crisis as a result of the RSUST crisis.
He said even though the governor agreed with them that the VC would not be reappointed, he went ahead as the Visitor to impose the VC on them for the second time.
Lecturers at the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Yenagoa, Bayelsa, suspended all academic activities.
Our correspondent learnt that examinations, lectures, student project supervision and other statutory meetings were put on hold by the lecturers.
The Chairman, ASUU NDU, Dr. Beke Sese, confirmed to our correspondent that Thursday was selected by ASUU as a day of solidarity with its members in the Port Harcourt campus.
Chairman, ASUU, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Dr. Aloysius Okolie, directed members of the union to boycott the university’s 69th inaugural lecture and other activities holding on the day, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Okolie said it was to show solidarity with their striking colleagues at RSUST over subversion of laws at the university by Amaechi.
He said, “After our congress on Tuesday, we resolved to carry out the one-day solidarity strike in support of ASUU-RSUST strike over misuse of power by that state governor in appointing the VC.
“Any ASUU member who attends the 69th inaugural lecture or participates in any activity today in UNN has disobeyed the one-day strike order and will be sanctioned by the union.”
The Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto ASUU Chairman Dr. Lawali Abubakar, and his Delta State University counterpart, Dr. Emmanuel Mordi, who commended their members for complying with the strike, urged Amaechi to reverse Fakae’s appointment.
Abubakar, who addressed a news conference in Sokoto after the union’s congress meeting, said the call became imperative as the appointment of Fakae was “undeserved and illegal”.
Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti ASUU called on the Inspector-General of Police to investigate the assault on their members at RSUST following the union’s rejection of the new vice chancellor.
Chairman of EKSUTH ASUU, Dr. Ayan Adeleke, said this at a press conference in Ado Ekiti on Thursday to announce the one-day strike.
The union expressed surprise that Amaechi, turned down the three candidates who came first, second and third in the interview for the post and appointed Fakae, who reportedly came fourth.
Chairman, ASUU, University of Ibadan branch, Dr. Segun Ajiboye, who addressed journalists on the union’s decision, condemned Fakae’s appointment.
He said, “The reappointment as acting Vice-Chancellor is morally repungnant and legally indefensible. In a fledgling democracy like ours, state universities are worst hit by this arbitrariness. I want to assure our colleagues that the ASUU leadership and members are determined to stand by them in this struggle against illegality.”
Bayero University Kano ASUU, in a statement by M. Lawan, said the lecturers boycotted classrooms as a mark of solidarity with its members at RSUST preparatory to protracted battle with “these vicious elements that have no respect for law and due process”.