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The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities(SSANU) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to introduce a policy that will protect those who expose corrupt practices in the country.
This call was made recently, in a text delivered by the by the National Vice President and Chairman, Comrade Alfred Jimoh Western zone of SSANU at a Press Conference in Ibadan, Nigeria.
”It appears unbelievable to us that, our members in FUNAAB, FUTA and UNIABUJA could be left to suffer this reprisal attack from the corrupt officers in their respective universities, simply for demonstrating faith in the Anti-corruption crusade of the government of the day without government coming out openly to identify with them and protect them. The world over, wherever there is Anti-corruption war, there is deliberate government policy to encourage and protect whistle blowers and we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to adopt this policy, more so, in the Universtiy system, Autonomy or no Autonomy. We also call for the review of the Autonomy act”.
Comrade Jimoh also gave an update on the situation in the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Federal University of Technology, Akure and Universtiy of Abuja. Excerpts :
”As we speak now, these ”evil geniuses” of FUNAAB have succeede in their evil machinations. Right now we are in possession of letters of warning issued to all the 23 SSANU members purported to have been recalled ”unconditionally”. If thisd is allowed to stay, it will not only defeat the unconditional clause of recall, it will no doubt activate another round of struggle as such a disguised punishment for our members arising from the on-going struggle against corruption, shall be unacceptable to us. We wish to sate loud and clear that SSANU will not stand by and watch while anybody unjustly punishes its members. We therefore call on the Minister of educatyion and Executive secretary of NUC, to without delay wade in, and call Prof. Oyewole to order. He(Oyewole) does have the moral right to punish anybody over the recent crises. Neither does the council nor any of its committees. Any sanctions on any of our members for actions directly or indirectly connected to whistle blowing, is not only prejudicial(as both cases of corruption and wrongful sack of our people are in court) It also amounts to a miscarriage of justice for an obviously stage-manged council committee to recommend ”Warning” and other serious sanctions for our members,, while saying nothing about Prof. Oyewole and other council members, whose illegalities and corrupt practices led to the whole problem. We wish to make it abundantly clear that, this recent development shall not go unchallenged by SAANU, as it is totally unacceptable”.
Unlike the situation in FUNAAB, were the accused have been arraigned, the case of the Vice Chancellor of FUTA is yet to be taken to court as at the last information at our disposal. We are surprised that, despite all the assurances by the EFCC to speedily arraign Prof. Biyi Daramola, the man is as at today, 6th January, 2017, still gallivanting about and allegedly boasting that, he would soon be freed by the EFCC, because he is well connected even within the EFCC itself. The boastful disposition of Daramola, coupled with the inability of the EFCC to arraign him, is a source of serious concern to us. It is our humble opinion that, the delay is not in the best interest of the university(FUTA) and the larger society. This is a man that lost the confidence of the staff, whom he is to work with, to deliver the core mandate of the university. Any attempt to reopen the university and allow Daramola to continue preside as the Vice Chancellor, just as Oyewole is being allowed to continue to preside over FUNAAB, even after he was granted bail in the court, would not only ridicule Nigeria among international communities, but it would seriously vitiate the Nigerian Anti-Corruption war. We therefore call on the EFCC, as a matter of utmost urgency and in a bid to speedily restore normalcy to FUTA, arraign Prof. Biyi Daramola and as soon as he is arraigned, he should be removed by the Council of the University to allow normalcy and genuine reconciliation in FUTA”.
The case of UNIABUJA is similar to the case in FUTA. Serious allagtions of corruption and abuse of office have been leveled against the Vice Chancellor of UNIABUJA(Prof. Michael Adikwu). For instance, the Vice Chancellor of UNIABUJA is alleged to have employed over 200 people through the back door without following due process. The university has lost NUC accreditation in many of its core courses in spite of the huge sums of money which the Vice Chancellor claimed to have spent on accreditation. SAANU members, led by its branch chairmen and Secretary exposed these and many other financial atrocities of the Vice Chancellor by holding Peaceful Protest and sending Petition to the Federal Ministry of Education, which initiated investigation by the House of Representatives Committee on Education and the ICPC. We are aware that the House Committee has issued a query to the Vice Chancellor over this matter.
This man has not been able to absolve himself, neither has the investigating agency of government been able to arraign him in court. Instead of the man directing his efforts at defending himself on the myriads of allegations against him, he has resorted to vindictiveness and victimization of the whistle blowers. As we speak the man has suspended the Chairman and Secretary of SSANU in UNIABUJA without even half salary, contrary to the Civil Service Rules. This he did without following due process and fair hearing. Yet the Vice Chancellor who has so much cases to answer, is still presiding over the university while the whistle blowers have been left in the cold without salaries for the past 6 months.
What more, the official SSANU car in the custody of the branch Chairman was vandalized in front of the University Senate building(in broad day light) in what appeared as a ‘sponsored Terrorist attack” on the 21st of July, 2016, a day after the SSANU Congress was held in UNIABUJA and all the atrocities of the Vice Chancellor was exposed. The laptop of the Chairman containing vital information was stolen from the car and up till now the perpetrators have not been apprehended.
We call on the government Agents and Agencies that are connected with the case of UNIABUJA, to expedite action with a view to arraigning the man in court and immediately recall our men(Chairman and Secretary of SSANU) unconditionally.