University of Abuja has not declared strike — NA’ALLAH

May 5, 2024 - 10:50
May 5, 2024 - 10:51
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University of Abuja has not declared strike — NA’ALLAH

By: Babatunde Ayeni

The management of University of Abuja has said academic and administrative activities on campus would go on despite reported strike called by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). Recall that the University Chapter of ASUU had last week declared an indefinite strike over the tussle of selection of new Vice Chancellor next month.

 In a meeting with Provost, deans, directors, and heads of academic departments of the institution, the vice-chancellor, Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na'Allah, described the strike as divisive and unnecessary, vowing that the management would never allow the University to be crippled again.

Prof. Na' Allah said, "As far as the management of the University is concerned, this institution is not on strike. 'Some people said they had declared a strike, but all of us, with the management, have decided that our normal activities in the University must go on. Our exam is going on, senate meeting will continue, everything we do as a university will continue, our calendar will not be disrupted by the grace of God, any longer, he said.

According to him, "It is wrong to cripple the University over issues that are merely sentimental, and some of which we have dialogued over and resolved'. 'We are prepared not to allow this disruption again, he stressed. In a statement signed by the Acting Director, Information and University Relations, Dr Habib Yakoob, Prof. Na’Allah debunked all the reported allegations of the Union, which it claimed informed its declaration of indefinite strike. Na'Allah noted that"Take for instance, the advert for the position of the vice-chancellor, we are not the only University that has advertised,” he said. 

“We had the support and approval of the government. The advert was done by the Minister of Education, all I did as vice-chancellor was to request, to ask for what is next and they decided this is what we must do.

And if you look at the advertisement from the beginning, this fact is very clear. 'It is only that they had to send it to us for execution, that’s all, he said. He also described the Union's allegations of illegal recruitment, promotion, delay in the election of deanship, and microfinance bank establishment as unfounded, saying that the University had followed due process in all of these matters, and ensured that relevant institutions concerned with oversights were contacted. 

While speaking specifically about the election of deans and establishment of microfinance bank, he noted that the elections time table had long been publicised, and four elections of deans had been conducted so far, while the University management had invested over N200 million in the proposed microfinance bank over the ASUU’s N4 million, before the union wrote directly to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop granting the license for the operation, instead of interacting with the board of the bank about whatever their requests were.

 Nallah said, “The bank is purely a business outfit and a service to our local and indigenous community, including market men and women, farmers, small and middle scale business people.” The vice-chancellor said his administration had been working hard to develop the University and would not fold its arms and allow a group of people to destabilise its calendar.

 "For over four years, our goal has been to lift this University much higher than it was, and this we have succeeded in doing by taking our academic and infrastructural developments to a world-class level, developing an integrated portal that ensured transparency and ease of accessing results, branding of the University, introduction of foreign languages, introduction of new faculties and several departments, among numerous achievements.” he said.

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