Rivers - The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is blackmailing the university by publicly undermining its credibility, a Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) official has said.
Mr Desmond Nwosu, the university’s spokesman, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview in Port Harcourt on Wednesday that ASUU was calling for a sanction to be imposed on the university.
The National Executive Council of ASUU at a recent meeting in Osun state had called on the National Universities Commission (NUC) to sanction the university.
A communiqué issued after the meeting stated that the management of the university disregarded the rights of ASUU members to freedom of association and peaceful assembly in the university.
The communiqué also described RSUST as a university where mediocrity thrived and as such lacked the ability to produce quality graduate.
Nwosu said that the university chapter of ASUU had refused to follow due-process in notifying the university management before holding its meetings.
He said that other unions in the university had always notified the university management prior to its meeting and as such enjoyed peaceful deliberations.
“The National Executive Council of ASUU is merely blackmailing the management of this university because Gov. Rotimi Amaechi had said that he followed due-process in the re-appointment of the incumbent Vice-Chancellor and if they (ASUU) felt he did not follow due-process, they should go to court.
“It is unfortunate that ASUU is calling on the National Universities Commission to sanction this university because NUC sent a delegation late last year (2012) to find out whether academic activities were going on here or not.
“They (NUC) found that what they read in the Newspapers was different from what is happening here on campus; they saw students sitting for examination and lecturers administering exams and were satisfied.
“They wrote us a letter commending the management of this university for not disrupting academic activities and our programmes for last section.
“A few lecturers that are out there (on strike); mainly the leadership of ASUU, RSUST branch is carrying-out Press war against the management of this university.
“We are calling on a few of them out there to exercise restraint and comeback to work because the strike is not supported by the public, students, and more than 85 per cent of ASUU members of this university.”
Nwosu said the university would not be distracted by the union and as such would continue to run its academic programmes for the interest of the country.
NAN also recalls that ASUU and the University Administration have been in disagreement over the re-appointment of Prof. Barineme Fakae as the institution’s Vice-Chancellor.
The union had on August, 2012 embarked on a strike action to demand that Gov. Chibuike Amaechi follow due-process in the re-appointment of Fakae.