By Bukola Adewumi/Joan Nwagwu
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has called for the sack of four Vice Chancellors of Nigerian universities over alleged corruption.
Mr Samson Ugwoke, SSANU National President, made the call when the union picketed the University of Abuja.
Ugwoke listed the alleged corrupt vice-chancellors as those of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, (FUNAAB); Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA); University of Abuja (UniAbuja), and Plateau State University (PLSU).
“Any Vice-Chancellor that has been alleged of corruption and arraigned before a competent court must be directed to step aside in line with Public Service Rule.
“If judges alleged of were directed to step aside pending the determination of criminal charges proffered against them, why not Vice-Chancellors?
“Vice-Chancellors have no immunity and Government must not create immunity where it does not exist.
“The Federal Government must ensure the protection of whistle blowers at the Federal Universities.
“We also demand the reversal of all punitive actions like, demotions, denial of annual increments and promotion, wicked posting, among others, against our members.
“We also demand that the Chairman and Secretary of SSANU, University of Abuja chapter, Mr Jude Nwabueze, and Mr Nurudeen Yusuf be recalled back to work with immediate effect.
“We demand that high-powered Visitation Panel be set up by the Federal Government for all the Federal universities to investigate the administration of finances, employment and other aspects of governance of the university system,” he said.
Ugwoke also called on the Federal Government to set up a special committee to investigate the spate of impunity in the university system and the victimisation of SSANU leaders in the recent times.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that SSANU had on several occasions written to the Minister of Education over alleged mismanagement, fraud, employment spree and slash in their salaries.
Others are wrongful termination of employment without salaries, harassment, victimisation and persecution by the Vice-Chancellors over whistle blowing of corruption, among others.
“We are protesting against corruption in the Nigerian universities, this is SSANU contribution to ensure clean university system.
“Our overriding interest lies in the sanctity of the university system and also to sanitise it for the future generations, ”he added.
The union also staged a protest in front of the Federal Ministry of Education to submit their letter of demand to the Minister of Education, Mallal Adamu Adamu.
Mr Bello Umar, Director, Human Resources, Federal Ministry of Education, while receiving the letter on behalf of the minister said that their grievances would be given due consideration.
“Since the inception of this administration, it has been zero tolerance to corruption and i want to solicit your support to be patience, while i assure you that we will definitely get to the roots of these issues, ”he said.
NAN reports that the protesters, who carried placards with inscriptions such as; “Federal Government, our universities need urgent intervention now”, `Vice-Chancellors, respect our institution, obey court order”.
Others are,“Arraign Vice-Chancellors for corruption”, “Impunity must end”, among others.
Meanwhile, the Student Union Government (SUG) blocked the entrance of the school with their bus preventing the protesters from gaining entrance.