By Egufe Yafugborhi, PH
LINGERING tussle over who becomes next Vice Chancellor (VC) of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Port Harcourt assumed violent dimension yesterday with Dr. Felix Igwe, branch Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) reportedly brutalised.
The ASUU leader who has been leading the union on a collision with the varsity’s management is said to be receiving medical attention at an undisclosed hospital after he was battered by assailants suspected to be security operatives at a congress of the union on the university campus.
The assault on Dr. Igwe comes four days into the ongoing strike by members of the union in resentment of the appointment of immediate past VC of the university, Prof. Barikeme Fakae as Acting VC. Condemning the attack, human rights lawyer, Mr. Ken Atsuete, has called for investigation into the circumstances surrounding the assault on the university don.
Mr. Atsueke who described the assault on the ASUU leader as “dastardly and barbaric” assumed that the masterminds of the act may not be “far away from the university authorities.”
Calling on major parties in the leadership crisis rocking the university to shun violence in advancing their interests, Mr. Atsuete concluded that resorting to “violence means that somebody is fighting because he or she is not qualified to be in a certain position he is occupying right now.”
The strike by the branch ASUU demanding Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers to nullify his appointment of Prof. Fakae as Acting VC has paralysed academic activities in the university since Monday.
It would be recalled that the university Public Relations Officer, Mr. Desmond Nwosu had earlier discredited the strike as amounting to dereliction of duty by the lecturers on ground that the school authorities were not pre-informed, a position Dr. Igwe refuted.