WHAT is more, Governor Obi has increased the university’s subvention.
Following the on-going strike embarked upon by ASUU (South-East), this most Education-friendly Governor has jerked the pay of the lecturers by 50 per cent from N15 million to N50 million and now to N81 million.
But the ASUU in the South-East region has remained adamant and unyielding, nay insensitive to the plight of students who have incurred unqualifiable losses since the closure of their institutions.
Those who should have begun their NYSC programme are at home and those of them who should have moved to the Law School are sitting down at home.
To add insult to injury, ASUU has resorted to blackmailing the governors and inciting the students against them, a scenario which if not checked, can lead to a breakdown of law and order.
A few days ago, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie who happens to hail from the South-East, left other meaningful things he could have been doing and raced down to Awka to pep up this blackmailing game and further embarrass Governor Obi and his other brother-governors in the South-East.
He addressed a press conference where, to the chagrin of even journalists, he threw caution to the dogs and went personal. Calling the governors insensitive, Prof. Awuzie challenged Governor Obi to a debate so he could teach him the way education should be run.
He bemoaned poor infrastructure in the universities in the South-East and recommended their closure.
But Ukachukwu forgot that in a university environment, there are several players: students, lecturers and government. Ukachukwu forgot or chose to forget that the ASUU is not a regulatory body which should deal with lack of infrastructure in universities and clamp down on those institutions which have not met the minimum standard set out by the National Universities Commission (NUC) which is statutorily charged to regulate the affairs of universities.
For the information of Awuzie and those lecturers who think like him, NUC does not require the meddlesomeness of ASUU or any trade union for that matter, to do its job. NUC has been alive to its responsibilities. When it recently took an action against a certain university in the South-West zone of Nigeria, it was not Awuzie or ASUU that prompted it to so do.
Being a Professor (a highly educated person), Awuzie should be abreast of employer-employee relations. An employee like Awuzie at the point of employment, commences a contract with his employer – the state or Federal Government in this particular context.
If the employee feels shortchanged by his employer, he takes either of two actions: drag the employer to court – the judiciary exists as the third arm of government to handle a case of this nature. Awuzie who knows everything, should feel the need to do this instead of gallivanting round the country to whip up sentiments and stand logic on its head.
Where the first option is not applicable, an employee reserves the right to move on to another employment when and if he feels that his present job gives him much less or simply less than he can earn elsewhere.
This is how the concept of Greener Pasture came into the Lexicon of the English Language in the first place. Again, as a learned man (Professor), Awuzie should know this.
Is he really ignorant of these or is he pretending? If he is ignorant, then his professorship is suspect and if he is pretending, then his integrity is at stake.
But wait a minute: What does Awuzie really profess: propaganda, invectives, fallacies or any known academic discipline? I have attended four universities – University of Nigeria, Nsukka (B.A. (Hons); Lagos State University (MPA); University of Lagos (Post-Graduate Diploma) and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (MA).
I have not come across the name, Professor Ukachukwu Awuzie, as an author or a lecturer of note. It is from this ASUU imbroglio that I have come across this wonderful Prof.! Is he one of the professors who are mere arm-chair critics of everyone and everything under the sun; who spend more time in labour unionism but cannot produce one academic paper in a decade and who have lost touch with the academia and play more politics than partisan politicians?
I advise this all-knowing Professor who wants to be remembered as the ASUU national leader who initiated and supervised the murder of education in his own geo-political zone, to go pick a nomination form from any of the countless political parties in the country and contest for gubernatorial office.
I pray he wins, so that he can then, with his experience as a lover of education and with executive fiat turn around the university system which he calls unimpressive as it is today.
Mr. Mike UDAH is CPS to Governor Obi of Anambra State.