…. there’s no threat of any kind against anybody – Ebonyi Education Commissioner
By Peter Okutu, Abakaliki
THERE seems to be no end in sight as regarding the impasse between Ebonyi State Government and the Ebonyi State University’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU in the State as the meeting between both parties was said to have ended in a deadlock.
The meeting which took place at the new Government House, Abakaliki paved way for the intervention of the national body of ASUU into the varsity’s myriads of challenges bordering on the welfare of staff of the Institution.
Addressing Newsmen after the meeting, Professor Emmanuel Osadeke, National Vice President of ASUU stated that instead of issues to be discussed, issues bordering on personalities took the centre stage.
“We came here because of the shortcomings affecting our members in the Ebonyi state university and we believe that since the University does not have Governing Council that we could relate, we decided we should meet with the visitor.
“Governing Council has dissolved two months ago and has not been reconstituted and the law did not envisage that it should be, that the Governing Council at any time and that is the only reason we came to see the visitor since there no Governing Council.
“We are not smiling because the issues we raised which are the minor issue; the issue of personality and persons became issues rather than issues affecting the University and that is why the meeting ended in deadlock.
“Instead of talking about EBSU he is talking about the Chairman and calling him a boy and what have you and saying that he abuses him and therefore he can not relate with our Chairman, so the meeting ended in a deadlock.
“We don’t know that the next line of our action because we will meet with Congress tomorrow to take our decisions, then we will meet with our National body then take our decisions. The threat to our Chairman here repeated to our hearing today by the Governor that if anything happens here he will be held responsible.”
Reacting, the State Commissioner of Education, Dr Onyebuchi Chima explained that nobody was threatened in the cause of the meeting as ASUU was not factual in its presentation.
Chima, who is also part of ASUU stated that: “I will say what happened today is a show of unpreparedness on the part ASUU and the people that came. The information that they were fed with is fake. Let it be on record that before they came not even the Ministry of Education was aware of their coming, not the SSA on High Education, not even the University.
“You don’t go to the visitor first without first of all finding out issues at least they say information is power but here they do not have information. The information is malicious and as a state and as a growing state we must defend ourselves. The university of Ebonyi state belongs to Ebonyians, no other people owns the state more than Ebonyians. The Governor is working hard to develop all sectors of Ebonyi state including Education where am heading
“Of course you all aware of 2021 budgets is the highest and Education have the highest abut 90.5%. So we are doing our best to develop our education from the lowest level to university education. So no one should teach us what we know. We fought for the creation of this state through the few that were enlightened in education, so we know what education can do for this state. We know where we started and where we going to.
“And today I can assure you that His Excellency demonstrated a high level of intelligence and as an educated consultant Engineer in Education of this state and well as it economic and social development
“There is no backing out, what am saying is that today meeting as far as being involved the people that came were not prepared. As a lawyer before you go to court you must get your facts right and your evidence correct, so am sure they will go back to their fact rights before they come back to the visitor
“There is no threat of any kind and I don’t know anybody coming out of this place not smiling. There is no threat, this is the centre of peace in Ebonyi state, in fact, this is the office of the Governor of Ebonyi state. This is not the place you feel unsecured and anybody that says so lacks the capacity to negotiate.
“In negotiation, you have points that are not going your way and your ability to condole those points that are not going your way do not mean threat, and I have said it repeatedly that what ought to be done is that they should go back and get the facts right from the university before coming to the visitor of the University.”
Sources from the university explained that what Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State is trying hard to institute within the State-owned Institution is to establish a mechanism that would enable the University to generate funds without depending solely on monthly subvention.