Drama As State Varsities Reply ASUU Over ‘Quack’ Name

The Committee of Pro-Chancellors of State-owned Universities (COPSUN) said, it read with disbelief a statement made by the President of the ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke on a television programme on Arise, where he said that State Universities were “irrelevant and quacks” on 26th August, 2022.

Secretary of COPSUN, Marcus Awobifa relayed their message in a statement signed on Monday, August 29, 2022.

Awobifa said the first reaction of the committee was to ignore the “tendentious, ill conceived and flagrant unconscionable statement by the President of ASUU”, but on reflection, it thought it necessary to do a rejoinder “to this rather unfortunate statement
having regard to the position of the President of ASUU in the scheme of things in our University system in Nigeria”.

Replying some of Osodeke’s assertion, COPSUN said, “the Committee wishes to state as follows to put records straight:

“That the Pro-Chancellors of our State Universities and indeed members of the Councils are distinguished and accomplished eminent persons who had served and still serving this Nation in many capacities.

“It was therefore insulting, contemptuous and unbecoming for the President of ASUU to state that these esteemed individuals are presiding over quack and inconsequential Universities”.

It said it believes that “the President of ASUU does not realise that his loquacious vituperation and obsolete stalinist, centralised, unpopular approach to the issue of funding of tertiary education in a modern globalised world is archaic, antiquated and impracticable anywhere in the world.

It added that COPSUN believes that this was an auspicious time for ASUU to creatively work with all stakeholders to tinker out a compromise that would bring back to the campuses the young men and women who had been insensitively thrown out of the universities for the last six months.

Furthurmore, they appealed to the President of ASUU to realise that the membership of ASUU was voluntary. Therefore, it was not his “ill-informed approach and denigration of state universities that will lead to fashioning out creative approaches to avoid existential extinction that will solve the myriad of problems confronting University system in
Nigeria”.

They also said, “The very unfortunate ill digested view of the President of ASUU has vindicated the position of this Committee on the following issues:

“The negative professionalisation of offices of the Unions that operate in our Universities and the unserious believe among many members of the Unions that the Unions are superior to the
Councils of the Universities that are their employers.

“The need for immediate democratisation of the membership of Unions in the universities to the extent of the freedom of any individual to belong to a Union with options of not belonging.

“Devolution of powers on the issues of labour, wages and salaries with freedom of the employers to negotiate with their employees, as it is practiced in other parts of the world, where we borrowed the University system.

“State Universities cannot be forced or coerced to implement agreements reached between the Federal Government and her workers in the Universities to which they are not parties.

“It is time to respect the Federal nature of our government in all matters and not selectively, especially on the issues of salaries and
wages”.

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