THE authorities of the University of Abuja (UNIABUJA), on Monday, shut the institution over escalated protests by the students who attempted to lynch the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor James Adelabu.
The students staged a protest against the indefinite strike declared by a section of the Abuja branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), over non-remittance of check-off dues and other areas allegedly owed to the unions.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the protesting students invaded the resident of the vice chancellor in Giri, Abuja, in the early hours of Monday to attack him, but for the timely intervention of detachment of policemen, who dispersed the students with tear-gas.
The development led to the decision of the Senate of the university acting, on the order of the Governing Council, to shut the university indefinitely in order to forestall further breakdown of law and order.
Thus, the Registrar of the university, Mr M.B. Modibbo, in statement on behalf of the vice chancellor, ordered the students to immediately vacate the two campuses of the university.
The students were aggrieved that the strike embarked upon by the lecturers on Monday last week had truncated their second semester examination, leading to series of protests by the students, just as the situation degenerated on Monday as the students went wild.
The students took over streets in Gwagwalada area of Abuja, where the Mini Campus of the university is located and barricaded the ever-busy Abuja-Lokoja expressway from where they were said to have marched to the vice chancellor’s residence.
The Governing Council of the University had on Thursday last week waded into the crisis rocking the institution.
Chairman of the Governing Council of the university, Dr Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia, who briefed newsmen in Abuja after the council meeting, appealed to the striking lecturers to sheathe their swords and call off the strike while the issues were being addressed.
According to him, the council had directed immediate restoration of the unions’ check-off dues, while also notifying the National Universities Commission (NUC).
The Federal Government had, in the wake of the last ASUU strike, ordered the vice chancellors to stop collection of check-off dues for staff unions, which the government believed they were using to fight back at it.
The council chairman, who was represented by a member of the council, Professor Ediga Agbo, said the council deliberated exhaustively on the issues raised by ASUU and SSANU, including the release of a White Paper on the 2012 visitation panel report, restoration of their check-off dues, remittance of the deduction of April 2013 check-off dues, promotion arrears and appointment of the new vice chancellor, among others.
Ogbemudia, who assured that immediate action would be taken on the demands of the unions, urged them to call off the strike to allow the university to conclude the second semester examination that was truncated by the strike.
He described the unions as partners in progress and called on both unions and the management of the university to collaborate in the greater interest of the university.
He said the processes for the appointment of a new vice chancellor for the university were on, without any hitch, and fully transparent.
Ogbemudia assured that the council would implement the White Paper immediately it was released.
Meanwhile, all the other issues involving promotion, election of Senate representatives to the council and remittance of deducted check-out dues had been resolved.
According to Ogbemudia, “the promotion arrears already submitted to the Budget Office will be followed up by the administration speedily and report back to the council within three weeks.”
“The Unions check off dues be restored immediately, while Council will notify the National Universities Commission. The April 2013 check off dues that were deducted be immediately remitted to members.
“The payment of claims is being processed and the Bursary department has been directed to bring same up for the Vice Chancellor’s approval and immediate payment,” the Pro-Chancellor stated.
Information Officer of the University, Mr. Garba Waziri, who confirmed the closed down of the University to Nigerian Tribune, said the Vice Chancellor has to shut the institution on the orders of the Governing Council as the protest by student became uncontrollable.
Posted From iProdigy Group Nigeria(Dabibi Ori-ibim’s Blog).
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