Members of University of Port Harcourt chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Wednesday, held their congress under a trees as their secretariat remained under lock and keys by the University’s authority.
This is as the union equally appealed to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Ndowa S Lale, who ordered closure of the secretariat and the Chief Security Officer (CSO), to tread the path of justice by opening the secretariat and allow all the offices in the complex to function.
Dr. Austen Sado, the ASUU chapter chairman said they were compelled to hold the congress under trees due to the continual closure of their secretariat on the order of the Vice Chancellor.
He said the Vice-Chancellor has been at war with the union over the termination of the appointment of Prof. Frank Uguimoh, whom the university authority accused of meddling in a matter of harassment leveled against a lecturer by two doctoral degree students.
“We are here because our secretariat is still lock and key and we had just finished our national executive council meeting at the weekend in Minna, Niger State and as it is our tradition whenever we finish, we will come back and address congress.
But Dr. Williams Wodi, the University’s spokesman explained that the Vice Chancellor ordered the closure of the secretariat to avoid a clash between ASUU and a new group, Congress of University Academics (CONUA), which had planned to hold a parallel meeting on November 29, 2019 at the same venue with ASUU.
However, Sado said when ASUU heard that some group of people that intended to force themselves into the secretariat, he reported the matter to security, insisting that ASUU did not plan any meeting on that date, wondering where the Vice Chancellor got the information.