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Appointment of VC: I’m ready for war with ASUU —Gov’nor Amaechi

By Boniface Okoro, Umuahia on 03/09/2012

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Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State has expressed his readiness to do battle with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) by asking the union to challenge his appointment of Prof. Barineme Fakae as Acting Vice Chancellor (VC) of Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) in court.

The governor has equally vowed that lecturers of RSUST who had gone on strike early August to protest alleged illegal manner Fakae was made Acting Vice Chancellor would not be paid their salaries.

ASUU had called the governor a law breaker, saying that the way the Visitor to RSUST appointed Fakae as Acting VC was a violation of the school’s statutes.

ASUU is accusing Amaechi of having vested interest in reappointing Fakae to the apex administrative position of the university. According to the union, Fakae had just finished his tenure as VC of RSUST and had come last in the interview conducted for five candidates that applied for the position,

ASUU alleged that because Fakae did not make it to the first three that should be recommended to the governor for him to pick a new VC, he truncated the selection process by disbanding the University Council.

According to ASUU, the university law permits Fakae to do a second term. However, the union is piqued by the negation of the part of the law that says when there is no substantive VC, the Deputy Vice Chancellor automatically becomes the Acting VC. In protest, ASUU members in the school embarked on indefinite strike.

A meeting called by the RSUST branch of ASUU, with a delegation of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the union, ostensibly to address challenges arising from what ASUU said was illegal appointment of Fakae, ended in a stalemate as it was violently disrupted by police and hoodlums who ASUU quoted as saying that they were acting on the orders of the Fakae.

This development forced universities nationwide to observe one day warning strike on August 30 in solidarity with their RSUST colleagues.

Reacting to the sympathy strike, Amaechi insisted that Fakae was appointed on acting capacity based on law, pending the appointment of another candidate by the university Council.

He asked ASUU to take the state government to court if it feels strongly that he breached the law, warning that striking teachers of RSUST will go without salaries.

*Photo: Governor Amaechi

Source News Express

Posted 03/09/2012 09:33:02 AM


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