The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, has declared that every attempt made by the federal government or its agent to ban the union will fail.
The ASUU president described the Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, as a jester over his alleged efforts at proscribing the union.
Osodeke spoke while delivering his goodwill message at a special commemorative programme organised on Thursday by the ASUU chapter of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, in Ogun State.
The event was held to honour the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Ganiyu Olatunde, whose tenure ended two weeks ago and was succeeded by a cancer pathologist, Prof. Deji Agboola.
Osodeke berated the federal government for always being envious of ASUU’s achievements at setting qualitative and enduring standards in infrastructural provisions and services.
“I can see why Ngige is interested in banning ASUU because once ASUU is proscribed, all the union’s assets automatically becomes the federal government’s property,” he said.
The president added, “You will never succeed in banning ASUU because ours is a union that assesses the system and aligns with the worthy course, without being biased, for the progress of the Nigerian educational society.
“One thing we have gotten wrong is that in the universities, we look at the VCs as Chief Executive Officers, which by the law, it is not true. A Vice-Chancellor is just one among equals, and it’s only when he sees himself as one that he will not have a problem with ASUU.”
While commending the former Vice Chancellor, ASUU National President said the union was impressed with Professor Olatunde for achieving a “most peaceful” administration during his tenure.
“Having assessed Professor Olatunde and found him worthy, the union was glad to associate with him to the extent that we have to suspend every other official engagements of the union to celebrate him. It is a pride for us to have a Vice Chancellor whom ASUU believed deserved to be honoured,” Osodeke said.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of ASUU, OOU chapter, Dr. Joel Okewale, lauded the immediate past Vice-Chancellor for manifesting the spirit of comradeship while his tenure lasted.
Okewale said that the spirit of comradeship and willingness of Prof. Olatunde to engage, as opposed to bossing over everyone, led to many fruitful discussions, acceptance, and implementation of proposals in the interest of OOU.