Vice Chancellor of Edo State-owned Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Prof. Sonnie Adagbonyin, has blamed the incessant strikes in the institution on union leaders’ refusal to understand the peculiarities of the university’s operational system.
The VC, who said this in an interview with The Tide’s source in Ekpoma, stated that the state government had never reneged on its financial obligations to the institution.
The source reports that staff unions of the institution embarked on strikes over claim of unpaid salary arrears, among other demands, before the State Government suspended their activities on campus in May.
Adagbonyin explained that the State Government had never failed to release the monthly subvention to the institution.
“We must understand that like all universities, AAU has its own peculiar system of operations. It relies on subvention from the State Government, while the university’s Management augments from fees paid by students.
“And we must emphasise that government has never failed in bringing its own component of the subvention. There is no month that government has reneged in paying subvention to the university.
“The union’s quarrel is that it is not as much as it used to be. But they have also failed to realise that within the university system, our capacity to discipline the resources and all the things that we do also have a role to play in sustaining us as a university.
“That has been the missing link. People just look at the amount government brings and begin to complain. How can this be enough to pay this or salary and can this settle the whole issues on ground.
“I want to say that what has always created a backlog of unpaid salaries is not what government brings. It is not the IGR the university generates. It is the consistency in the fragmentation of academic calendar.
“And I think that it is what offended government to the extent suspending activities of unions in the institution.
“For me, I like the spirit of unionism because of its principle of fundamental rights to take care of members’ welfare.
“But here in AAU, strikes were no longer ideologically centered. Strikes became politicised, which began to negatively affect both academic and social space.
“I hope that unions will begin to see that it is not the number of strikes that make a university grow, but the capacity to recognise that developmental strides can be made when we allow the system work the way it should work”, the VC said.
He VC urged the students to be the ombudsman, challenge and criticise but should know that it couln’t be an alternative to management.
“You can’t begin to take the roles of management. Management is management and unions are unions; Unions should unionise and should allow management to manage affairs of the institution.
“The roles will obviously become conflicting when every decision management takes is challenged by unions.
“He said unions were more important in fighting for members’ welfare, ensuring that there is due diligence in the system.’’
According to the VC, “no responsible management worth its salt should be afraid of that role. But you must know your limitations as unions because you must first subject yourself to constituted authority.
“But when you now begin to think you are the authority because you belong to a union, of course, there will be conflict which will generate to a situation of reckless irresponsibility”.
Meanwhile, the school’s management said it had lifted the suspension on two of its principal staff facing allegations of abuse of office and financial impropriety.
This is contained in a statement by its institution’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Larry Isiraoje, and made available to The source in Ekpoma.
It said the School’s Special Intervention Team had directed management to lift the suspension on the Provost, College of Medicine and the Acting Dean, faculty of Basic Medical Sciences.
It, however, added that “the investigation of the allegations of abuse of office and financial impropriety made against them is ongoing.”
Shun Cultism, Naval College Urges Graduating Students
The Commandant of the Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Akpabuyo, Cross River State, Commander Felicity Uchime, has charged graduating students of the school to shun cultism, examination malpractice and other vices.
Uchime, who gave the charge last Saturday during the graduation ceremony of 195 students of the 2021/2022 set, urged the students to see their graduation from the school as a ladder to climb to higher grounds.
She said the graduation signified the hard work, determination and resilience of the students.
“As you graduate today, I want to advise you all to stay away from cultism, examination malpractice and vices.
“The Nigerian Navy School has imbibed sound character and discipline in all of you, hence we expect you to be worthy ambassadors of this great school, “ she said.
She said the school was poised for academic excellence and quality education, adding that the school has imbibed sound character and discipline in the students.
“Your parents have dedicated financial resources to see you through school; you must not disappoint their trust in you,” she said.
I want to wish all of you the best in your future endeavours,” she said.
Speaking, Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Adm. Ibrahim Dewu, congratulated the students for the successful completion of their secondary school education.
Dewu, who was represented by Capt. Dauda Isa, said that their graduation reflected the training and quality of education the students had received in the last six years.
“With the quality of teaching we have in this school, I have no doubt that you all have the requisite credentials to excel in your future endeavours.
“We are going to do our best to upgrade the facilities in this school with a view to meeting the expectations ofstudents and parents,” he said.
The Tide’s source reports that Master Divine Akpan was awarded the best performing student of the school in the just released released by the West African Examinations Council.
The school also presented other certificates and awards to deserving graduating students.
First Female Immigration Boss In A’Ibom Assumes Duty
Mrs Francisca Dakat has assumed duty as the 21st Comptroller, Immigration Service (CIS) and the first female Comptroller in Akwa Ibom Command.
Dakat, whose last posting was Rivers Marine Command, is taking over from Comptroller George Didel, who has been redeployed to Migration Directorate, Service Headquarters, Abuja.
Speaking with The Tide’s source during the exchange of baton in Uyo last Friday, Dakat said she would build on the achievements of her predecessor.
“The outgoing Comptroller has done so well and I intend to consolidate on those achievements, and if God helps us, we will do more.
“We always want to be better than our teachers. So, whatever we can do to make the command better, we will do it,” Dakat said.
Dakat, who was appointed into the Service in 1990, charged personnel of the Command to remain committed to duty and be disciplined, to move the service forward.
In his farewell message, the outgoing CIS, Didel, urged the personnel to remain loyal and committed to the service.
“I want to tell my staff that they must continue to be loyal to the country. They must be hard working and must be disciplined, especially in the performance of their duties.
“As public servants, we must continue to serve the public. So, I will leave them with that message, to be patriotic and be committed to their duties,” Didel said.
IPMAN Threatens Depot Shutdown Over Police Harassment
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), South East Zone, has threatened to shut down depots in Calabar, Port Harcourt and Enugu over incessant police harassment of its leaders.
Cross River State Chairman, IPMAN, Mr Robert Obi, made the threat last Friday in Calabar while speaking with newsmen.
Obi said the association decided to close all the depots and stations after a series of meetings with some stakeholders over police harassment of its leaders.
He alleged that there were moves by the Police Legal Unit at the Force Headquarters in Abuja to arrest its executives across the zone and possibly install a factional leadership.
He said that any arrest of its leaders in the zone would create more crisis in the association in spite of various court pronouncements laying the matter to rest.
Obi said the Attorney-General of the Federation, in a letter which was copied to Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo and his faction, who lost out at the Supreme Court, had acknowledged Alhaji Sanusi Fari as the authentic National President of IPMAN.
Obi frowned at the alleged moves by the police authorities and some, he described as “disgruntled elements”, to either misinterpret the Supreme Court ruling or subvert the will of the people.
He said their aim was to impose their cronies on the association even when the facts of the matter were very clear.
“Despite the legal advice, the police are putting all arsenals to arrest the current executives of IPMAN in Nigeria, particularly in Calabar NNPC depot and hand the leadership of the association to the people of their choice.
“IPMAN warns that further step shouldn’t be taken by the police to interfere with the current leadership of the association. We will shut down the distribution channels of petroleum and allied products in Nigeria pending when the police do the right thing.
“IPMAN leadership has resolved to continue with their rights in the constitution and abide by the extant laws and subsisting judgments of the courts in its favour,” he said.
The Tide learnt that the zone has been embroiled in leadership crisis which led to various court cases.
The South East Zone of IPMAN, comprises Enugu, Aba, Rivers, Cross River and Benue State with more than 40 depots and 1,000 petrol stations with about 2,000 members.
The zone has been having a running battle with officers of the Nigeria Police over alleged attempt by the police to force a factional leadership on the association.
Meanwhile, Force Headquarters spokesman, Mr Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said he was not aware of the matter.
Earlier, the Cross River State Command of the Nigeria Police had said it was not in position to react to the allegation.
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