…Varsity TUC Wants Enejere Reinstated
SAN FRANCISCO, January 05, 2014, (THEWILL) – The Alumni Association of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) has faulted the sack of the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of the institution, Dr. Emeka Enejere, by the Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike.
The Association, which has already petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan on the matter, also faulted the replacement of Enejere by Emmanuel Okala (SAN), said to be Wike’s lawyer in Rivers State, without following due process.
Speaking at a media briefing recently, President of the association, Chief Andrew Oru, alleged that the action of the Minister runs completely at variance with the avowed adherence to the Federal Government’s due process regime and laudable transformation agenda.
Oru lamented that “The same Hon. Minister, on 19thDecember 2013, announced the appointment of one Emmanuel Okala (SAN), who is his own lawyer in Rivers State to replace the Pro-Chancellor!”
According to Oru, “We as responsible major stake-holders and apostles of zero tolerance for corruption in whatever form, are unable to keep to the side lines and watch the decimation of our dreams as epitomized in the great institution which we have lived to cherish and protect.
“In the light of the above and all other collateral circumstances, we here-in-below examine this volatile situation with all sense of responsibility in the context of all extant rules, laws, norms of civility and respect for the Visitor. ”
Oru alleged that Enejere was sacked to prevent the exposure of the alleged corrupt activities of the university vice chancellor, Prof. Bartho Okolo.
“Without mincing words, it has practically been a war situation for the number of years that the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Bartho Okolo, has been in charge of the University’s affairs. However, with vast resources at his disposal and his readiness to act with brute-force of the military style, his challengers, be they the academic staff union or students or even the previous Governing Council were simply not his match.
“He simply plundered and roared and every lip remained awed and sealed. It was simply a culture of impunity and naked megalomania and profligacy.
“Nemesis however came calling sometime in April 2013, when the Visitor, being the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, himself a bona-fide indigene of the academic environment, in apparent pursuit of his famous transformation agenda, appointed a well-groomed fresh Governing Council under the captainship of Dr. Emeka Enejere as Pro-Chancellor. This appointment like all other appointments to different offices within the University of Nigeria, were made pursuant to the University of Nigeria Act, Cap. U11, ” the alumni association president said.
The Joint Action Council (JAC) of the university’s Trade Union Congress (TUC) also condemned the action of the Minister purportedly suspending Enejere, describing it as a brazen illegality which goes contrary to the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government;
“Whereas the motive of the purported suspension of the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria is yet to be made public, the unions have it on record that the aim of such purported suspension is to prevent the present Governing Council of the University of Nigeria headed by Dr. E. Enejere from legitimately and legally carrying out their work in order the correct the brazen mal-administration of Professor Bartho Okolo within the past four years which the immediate past Governing Council failed to do, “the union said in a statement.
According to the union, “Whereas, by so preventing the Governing Council from doing its work, the aim of the Vice-Chancellor, working in tandem with the Supervising Minister of Education, Barrister Nyesom Wike, and the National Universities Commission (the “NUC”) Executive Secretary, Professor Julius Okojie, covertly egged on by Anyim Pius Anyim, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), is to foreclose or at least delay the advertisement of vacancy of the office of the Vice-Chancellor which is now due pending when a convenient person may be appointed as the Pro-Chancellor;
“Whereas when such a person, convenient to the corrupt administration of Prof. Bartho Okolo is now appointed, then such Council headed by such a compromised person will be unable to look into the administrative rot, abuse of office and running of the University as a private estate by Prof. B. Okolo;
“Whereas the Joint Action Committee of trade unions believes that the present Governing Council headed by Dr. Enejere had been diligently, legitimately and legally pursuing its work in accordance with the template provided to them on their inauguration by the Federal Government;
“Whereas it is as a result of this responsible and faithful approach to the issues bedeviling the University of Nigeria under Prof. Bartho Okolo that the Vice-Chancellor in conjunction with the Supervising Minister of Education, the Executive Secretary of the NUC and the SGF are determined to see to the removal of Dr. Emeka Enejere as Pro-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria,” it stated.
While calling for the reinstatement of Enejere, the union said “Whereas we believe that the President is faithful to his Transformation Agenda, believes in the rule of law and fight against corruption, the Unions resolve as follows:
“That Dr. Emeka Enejere should be retained as the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria in accordance with his appointment which states that he shall hold office for a period of four years, beginning with the date of his appointment.
“That if the Supervising Minister of Education believes that he has legitimate and cogent reason(s) for the purported suspension of the Pro-Chancellor outside the rule of law, the Unions request that he should produce that evidence before a public inquiry instituted by the Visitor.
“That having regard to the fact that the Vice-Chancellor has less than six months to stay in office, and that there is every likelihood that he would do everything illegitimate and illegal to prevent the smooth running of the Council, including the declaration of vacancy for the appointment of a new Vice- Chancellor, the Unions therefore, demand that Professor Bartho Okolo be removed from office and an Acting Vice-Chancellor appointed. “