COPSUN Attacks ASUU President Frontally Over Statement On State Universities

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BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – The Committee of Pro-Chancellors of State-owned Universities (COPSUN) has described as insulting, contemptuous and unbecoming for the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to state that its esteemed members are presiding over quack and inconsequential Universities.

COPSUN also said that it belies belief that the President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke does not realise that his loquacious vituperation and obsolete stalinist, centralised, unpopular approach to the issue of funding of tertiary education in a modern globalised world is archaic, antiquated and impracticable anywhere in the world.

These were contained in a statement by the Secretary of COPSUN, Mr. Marcus Awobifa while responding to a statement credited to ASUU President on a television programme on Arise, where he said that State Universities are “irrelevant and quacks”, in which he stressed that the Committee believes that this is an auspicious time for ASUU to creatively work with all stakeholders to tinker out a compromise that will bring back to the campuses the young men and women who have been insensitively thrown out of the universities for the last six months.

The statement by pro-chancellors of State Universities which was made available to Forefront News, therefore appealed to the President of ASUU to realise that the membership of the Union is voluntary, stressing that it is not ASUU President’s ill-informed approach and denigration of state universities that will lead to fashioning out creative approaches to avoid existential extinction that will solve the myriad of problems confronting University system in Nigeria.

COPSUN which also described ASUU’s president statement as “tendentious, ill-conceived and flagrant unconscionable”, said it had wanted to ignore it but on reflection, it was thought necessary to respond to the rather “unfortunate” statement having regard to the position of the President of ASUU in the scheme of things in the University system in Nigeria.

It further said; “Though, COPSUN will not want to go into any diatribe with the President of ASUU, the Committee wishes to state as follows to put records straight:

“That the Pro-Chancellors of our State Universities and indeed members of the Councils are distinguished and accomplished eminent persons who had served and still serving this Nation in many capacities.

“Amongst the members are retired Ambassadors, retired Generals in the Armed forces, retired Vice-Chancellors, Senior Advocates of Nigeria, renowned politicians and other distinguished professionals,” it said.

COPSUN also said that the very “unfortunate ill digested” view of the President of ASUU has vindicated its position that the negative professionalisation of offices of the Unions that operate in Nigerian Universities and the unserious believe among many members of the Unions that the Unions are superior to the Councils of the Universities that are their employers.

The Committee of pro-Chancellors therefore stressed the need for immediate democratisation of the membership of Unions in the universities to the extent of the freedom of any individual to belong to a Union with options of not belonging.

It also called for the devolution of powers on the issues of labour, wages and salaries with freedom of the employers to negotiate with their employees, as it is practiced in other parts of the world, where we borrowed the University system.

COPSUN further said; “State Universities cannot be forced or coerced to implement agreements reached between the Federal Government and her workers in the Universities to which they are not parties.

“It is time to respect the Federal nature of our government in all matters and not selectively, especially on the issues of salaries and wages”.

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