Monday, July 25, 2016

ASUU slams Bayelsa govt over new varsity, lists condition to call off strike

THE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has slammed the Bayelsa State govern­ment over its proposal to establish a public private partnership based African University in the state.

But the state govern­ment has maintained that the criticism against the establishment of the Uni­versity was misplaced and baseless.

The Bayelsa State House of Assembly had few days ago passed the Bill to es­tablish the University into law. The main campus is to be sited at Toru-Orua, Sagbama Local Govern­ment area of Bayelsa.

ASUU, Niger Delta University (NDU) chapter at a press conference held on behalf of the union by its Chairman Dr Stanley Ogoun and Secretary Dr Tonbara Kingdom over the weekend noted that the timing for the estab­lishment of the University was wrong “considering the state government’s failure to pay salaries span­ning into several months”

It queried why a state government that has been unable to adequately fund the state owned NDU think of the idea of estab­lishing a University under a partnership arrange­ment through counterpart funding.

ASUU which challenged the state government to unveil the supposed inves­tors questioned the ratio­nale behind the Bayelsa State House of Assembly role in passing a Law to establish a private driven University.

While pointing out sev­eral discrepancies in the Bill presented to establish the university which it in­sisted was a prototype of the Bill that established the NDU, the union urged Bayelsans to be weary of people out to deceive them.

“Bayelsans should be weary of some of these individuals who are sur­reptitiously behind this course. These people are some of the individuals who had been involved in defrauding the state through phony education­al institutional arrange­ments with so called for­eign university linkages. We can see clearly the same group of individuals fanning the same process again. Posterity will Judge such individuals who in­tentionally mortgage the future of our state through phony linkages with so-called foreign universities. They have been at these phony arrangements right from the days of the first civilian governor of the state with devastating consequences for the state resources”

On the industrial stand-off between it and the state government, the union which commended the enthusiasm shown by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson to know the out­come of congress deci­sion, however, said the congress had decided that the payment of salaries up to April is what can make them return to classes.

The Union which con­demned inciting state­ments against it urged the state government to consider the new posi­tion of ASUU to resolve the problem and end the misery of several Bayelsa students staying at home.

Meanwhile the state government through the Commissioner for Infor­mation and Orientation, Hon Jonathan Obuebite has insisted that estab­lishment of the university is with good intentions for the benefit of Bayel­sans.

Obuebite in a radio programme monitored over the weekend main­tained that Dickson has no stake in the University and enjoined Bayelsans to support the vision of the state government in the education sector.

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