The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has accused Vice Chancellors (VCs), political officeholders, and traditional rulers of hijacking staff employment against due process in the varsities.
President of ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osaodeke, who raised the concern yesterday in Uyo during the Heroes’ Day Celebration of the University of Uyo (UNIUYO), Akwa Ibom State, wowed that the Union was set to fight the anomaly to restore sanity to the system.
Osodeke noted that while no university in the country has advertised for vacancies in the past six to ten years, the staff strength of such institutions has tripled, with VCs employing all manners of persons from governors and senators to lecturers.
The ASUU boss explained that, “Before now, university employment was done through advertisement followed by rigorous interviews, but now how do people get here? Through temporary appointments.
“That’s the problem that we have today. I do not know of any university for the past six to ten years that has advertised, but the staff strength has tripled.
VCs just sat down somewhere and packed people from traditional rulers, governors, and all other politicians into Nigerian universities as lecturers, most of them now scavengers in the system, going after money and all manners of things.
“Unfortunately, university employment has turned into a constituency project, and we have to struggle to reverse this misnomer and bring sanity to the system.”
On the value of UNIUYO Heroes’ Day, Prof Osodeke lauded, “All the heroes honoured today for sacrifices made to the point of termination of appointments, seizure of salaries, demotion, among other travails, for speaking truth to powers for the benefit of others.
In a keynote address on the occasion, Professor of Ethnocomunicology, Desmond Wilson, lamented how the struggles of the Union have been compromised by fifth columnists, including agents allegedly engaged by the government to create confusion.
Stressing that heroism was no license for misbehaviour, Wilson urged all ASUU members to remain selfless and committed in the fight for the betterment of all and redemption of Nigerian varsities from the prevailing quagmire.
The VC at UNIUYO, Prof Nyaudoh Ndaeyo, represented by Prof Ben Etuk, acknowledged ASUU’s role and contribution to better well-being among the university staff, urging the association to sustain its efforts.
ASUU in UNIUYO also released over N1.7 million to 15 indigent students of the university who excelled in their academics as it conferred heroes’ awards on worthy past leaders of the branch.
The honourees on the call include Dr Etop Ndiyo, Prof Desmond Wilson, Prof Edet Akpan, Prof Joseph Ushie, Prof Aniesua Essiet, and Prof Ashong Ashong.