Manage your affairs, don’t involve us, Ebonyi Govt. directs Vice-Chancellor, Varsity Management

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The Ebonyi State Government has directed the Vice-Chancellor and Management of the Ebonyi State University (EBSU), to brace-up to their responsibilities and manage the affairs of the State University without involving the State Government.

The directive was contained in a statement issued yesterday by the State Commissioner for Education, Dr Onyebuchi Chima.

According to the Commissioner, the directive was issued after critical assessment of the “ongoing unhealthy” situation in the State University.

The statement, which absolved the State Governor of any wrongdoing, read in parts, “The Governor of Ebonyi State, His Excellency Engr. Dr David Nweze Umahi FNSE FNATE, out of his great love for Ebonyi State, EBSU staff and students, has done all things that were supposed to be the core responsibilities of the EBSU management for the stability of the University.”

The statement went further to direct the Management of the State University to “immediately brace-up to its responsibilities and manage EBSU without the current practice procedure of dragging the visitor/Governor of Ebonyi State into the everyday administration of Ebonyi State University and its Unions.”

“To immediately implement an innovative and strategic action-plan of managing Ebonyi State University within the limits of its resources.”

“To immediately desist from the current wrongful practice of ‘passing the balls’ and acting in the manners as though someone else has the responsibilities of managing the affairs Ebonyi State University especially in this challenging period in our country.”

“To immediately engage all parties, individuals, and officers of existing and/or defunct unions towards harnessing the potentials of Ebonyi State University in the development of Ebonyi State.”

“To initiate and implement practical actions/projects that will forestall the reputation of Ebonyi State University including but not limited to the digitalization of the registry department, staff audit, contract staff (including very old/retired staff), assessment of program viability etc.”

Recall that Hanoky Media had earlier reported that the State Governor, Engr Dave Umahi, had proscribed the activities of all union bodies in the State University (sparing the Students Union Government) and ordered the resumption of academic activities in the institution effective Wednesday, 21st October 2020. Read here

According to the Governor, “The decision was taken in order to ensure that academic and non-academic unions’ activities do not negatively affect the resumption of EBSU and the commencement of academic and non-academic activities in the state-owned university.”

The Governor’s move to proscribe all unions in the State University has since come under heavy criticism.

The National President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, described the proscription as an aberration.

The Chairman of the ASUU State Chapter in Ebonyi State, Dr Ikechukwu Igwenyi, in his reaction, stated that no Governor can proscribe a national union duly registered and given the charter to operate. He called on the State Government to rather prioritise university education in the state.

Igwenyi disclosed that the ASUU Chapter in the State University had embarked on a strike action since February 2020, because all efforts to make the school management to listen to its demands had been unsuccessful. He had called on the staff of the University to remain resolute with the strike action until the State Government meets their demands.

Exactly a week after the State Governor had proscribed ASUU in the State University and ordered the resumption of academic activities, the Vice-Chancellor and the Management of the State University are being directed to “manage” the affairs of the State University, leaving out the State Government. It is unclear if the Management of the varsity may retract the proscription of all the Unions earlier proscribed by the State Governor or dialogue with the demands of the ASUU body in a bid to end the strike action.

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