The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday reiterated its call for the scrapping or an overhaul of the National Universities Commission (NUC).
The union restated its stand in a statement by the Chairman of its University of Ibadan (UI) chapter, Dr. Olusegun Ajiboye.
ASUU urged the National Assembly to probe the activities of NUC, adding that the commission has failed to reposition the nation’s universities as shown by the NEEDS Assessment Report carried out by genuine academics.
The statement said this contradicted NUC’s accreditation exercises.
The union said the NUC accreditation exercises, which gave a “controversial” clean bill of health to most universities in the country, were the result of what it called a mago-mago (unethical) accreditation.
The union said in accountable climes, the NUC chief would have resigned, following the revelations in the NEEDS Assessment Report.
ASUU stressed that the ongoing strike was total.
The union said it could not be fooled again with “promissory notes” of the Federal Government, which has never worked.
The statement, titled: Where Okojie Got It Wrong, said NUC’s Executive Secretary, Prof Julius Okojie, cannot absolve himself of the rot in the university system because he has allegedly been regulating quantity instead of ensuring quality delivery.
Prof. Okojie, last Thursday, absolved the commission of any accreditation misdeed.
He said ASUU members were to blame for the development.
But Ajiboye described the statement credited to the NUC chief as “careless”.
He alleged that Prof Okojie was using his friends for the accreditation.
The university lecturer said the success of the 2011 elections could be attributed to the patriotic zeal and contributions of the ASUU leadership.
According to him, it was through the ASUU leadership that the election was freer than most of the past polls.
He said: “ASUU cannot be blamed for NUC’s mago-mago accreditations. Rather than blame the union, Prof Okojie should take full responsibility for all the deeds in the NUC, including the work and accreditations…
“Nigerians should be proud of ASUU in its efforts at repositioning public universities. One of these major efforts is the NEEDS Assessment document. This was a product of a rigorous academic exercise carried out by dependable and credible members of our union. Unlike the numerous faulty accreditation reports, which had given these universities a clean bill of health, the NEEDS Assessment Report stands out as a classical document of reference detailing the rot and decay in public universities in Nigeria.
ABU VC seeks divine
The Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Prof Abdullahi Mustapha, has urged intending pilgrims to this year’s Hajj to pray for Allah’s intervention in the ongoing feud between the Federal Government and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“I want to use this opportunity of Hajj to appeal to all Nigerians, especially those embarking on this highly spiritual mission to the holy land, to pray to the Almighty Allah for the country’s unity, sustainable peace and immediate resolution of the Federal Government-ASUU dispute,” Prof Mustapha said.
The vice chancellor, in a statement by his spokesman, Mallam Waziri Isa Gwantu, expressed concerns over the lingering dispute.
He said the face-off is threatening to ground the universities and the entire education sector.
The academic noted that the non-resolution of the dispute may affect Nigeria’s image in the perception of international education community.
Prof Mustapha said if the dispute was not resolved within the shortest time, to save the universities from further degeneration, the nation may witness another unfortunate phase of mass exodus of the few intellectuals in the system to other countries in search of alternatives.