The Chairman of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Felix Igwe, on Monday denied the allegation that he had resigned his appointment with the university.
ASUU and the University Administration have been in disagreement over the re-appointment of Barineme Fakae as the institution’s Vice-Chancellor.
The union had in August 2012 embarked on strike to demand that Governor Chibuike Amaechi follow due-process in the re-appointment of a vice chancellor.
Governor Amaechi had in return, told the union that the law gave him, as governor of the state, the right to appoint a vice-chancellor for the university.
The governor said that the union could take the government to court if it felt that the government did not follow due-process in the appointment exercise.
Mr. Igwe said in an interview in Port Harcourt on Monday that the resignation claim was not true.
“This is absolutely untrue; that is probably a propaganda that is designed to weaken other members of the union in their resolve for the proper thing to be done in RSUST (the university).
“I and the Secretary of the union have not resigned; we will not resign; we will be together to ensure that the proper thing is done in the Rivers State University of Science and Technology,” he said.
The union leader said no member of the union had tended any resignation letter since the strike began and challenged the university to produce the letters of resignation that anyone had written to it.
“ASUU had placed sanction on any member of the union that attends any academic activity in that university,” he said.
On the university’s claims that 70 per cent of striking lecturers had resumed academic activities, Mr. Igwe described the claims as false and untrue.
Mr. Igwe said that the university administration had currently embarked on propaganda to misinform the public to believe that academic activities were on in the university.
The unionist claimed that a recent assessment report showed that the university was heavily understaffed.
He said the individuals that work there as lecturers are either on contract or adjunct staff from other neighbouring universities.
“It is wrong to fame normalcy when you are only trying to deceive the public; the university administration is presenting false picture to the public to indicate that activities were going on normally and diverting attention from the issue at stake.
“The issue is that the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor did not follow due-process and that is a dangerous precedence that is been set there.
“We are saying that the appointment of Vice-Chancellor must be such that you must respect the university autonomy and respect academic freedom,” he said.
The striking lecturers say unless the anomaly is corrected, they will remain on strike.
Desmond Nwosu, the university spokesman, however, insisted that the Chairman and Secretary of the union had formally written to the university management, informing them of their decision to withdraw their services from the university.