The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Kwara State University (KWASU) Chapter, on Friday condemned the interference of the state government by appointing an Acting Vice-Chancellor(VC) for the institution.
The Chairman of the union, Mr Issa Abdulraheem, while addressing newsmen in Ilorin, said the interference was perceived to be biased and politically-motivated.
According to him, the implications of the government’s actions are considered embarrassing and counterproductive to the educational system and development of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state government had on May 7 announced the appointment of an Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kenneth Adeyemi, although the tenure of the incumbent VC had yet to expire.
The action led to protests by the students after the issuance of a 24-hour ultimatum for the government to reverse the appointment.
The protests eventually led to the closure of the school by the management which cited security reasons.
“The government has interfered in the affairs of the institution, which ASUU has already warned the government against.
“For the first time in 10 years, KWASU has been closed down; and if this situation is not addressed quickly and reverted to status quo, it could degenerate into further crisis.
“The implication of the closure might lead to the inability of the management to meet several of its obligations, an obvious one being finance.
“KWASU is running on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR); and without students on campus, generating IGR would be more difficult and staff welfare will be jeopardised,” Abdulraheem said.
He said it was immoral for a government that had abdicated its responsibility of providing subvention to the university for more than four years to dabble into the process of appointing its principal officers without regard for the law of the institution.
“A government that does not pay attention to the importance of education to economic development should leave the institution alone, as it is striving hard on its own with little or no support from the government to become a world class university,” the ASUU chairman said.
He said the latest actions of the government would make the whole world to make mockery of the citadel of learning.
“Also, prospective students will be discouraged from applying to KWASU because of this crisis.
“KWASU is known for stable academic calendar which academic staff have always strived to maintain despite all challenges experienced,” Abdulraheem said.
He called on all stakeholders to call a meeting to resolve the crisis and return the university to normalcy.
“We want to suggest that the transition implementation committee should convene a meeting of all stakeholders, socio-cultural and religious groups, including members of the academic communities to resolve the ongoing crisis.