The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma,AAUA Chapter, yesterday, protested non payment of their accumulated salaries amidst deployment of tight security made up of policemen and vigilantes to maintain peace at the University.
The ASUU and NASU members who adorned branded T-shirts, bore placards with various inscriptions to protest the half salaries they were allegedly paid from March to November last year and the four months salary they are being owed for 2021.
Supported in solidarity by ASUU members from the University of Benin, Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, and Niger Delta University (NDU), Yenogoa, the protesters also used the occasion to celebrate the exit of the Vice-Chancellor of AAU, Prof. Ignatius Onimawo, who formally handed over the administration of the University to the newly appointed Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Benson Osadolor.
Besides, the Lecturers and Non Academic staff are protesting the new law passed by the state House of Assembly which gave sweeping powers to the state governor as Visitor to AAU to take over the running of the University. The which was passed on Monday at the request of the governor, was given assent Monday night by Mr. Godwin Obaseki.
Already, there are indications that AAU-ASUU members are poised to challenge the new law in court as the matter was discussed in their congress yesterday.
“The law is an illegal law because it was passed by minority members of the Assembly. We are certainly going to court to contest the legality or otherwise of the new law.
“The powers conferred on the governor by the law are alien to public University system. What the governor did was to anull the University Statute, using military fashion”, Lecturer who did not want his name in print told Daily Sun yesterday.
On the appointment of a Vice-Chancellor and other principal officers for the University, the National leadership of ASUU reportedly wrote to governor Obaseki through the AAU Governing Council six months to the expiration of their tenures, reminding governor to set machinery in process as required by law to appoint their replacements but the governor allegedly ignored the advice.
“They are dragging ethnic politics into AAU, including the differences between Oshiomhole and Obaseki, but what we are concerned with is our welfare.
“For peace to reign, the Vice Chancellor ought have been appointed from within the University but if otherwise, due process should have been followed by advertising the position”, the Lecturer said.