ASUU, AAU, Ekpoma Condemns Unpaid Salaries, Denial Of Promotion, The Outurst, Intimidation And Humiliation Of Workers Of The University By The University’s Special Intervention Team

THE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma Chapter has condemned in strong terms the outburst, intimidation and humiliation of workers of the University by Mr. Austin Osakue, a member of the University’s Special Intervention Team (SIT).

Mr. Osakue had at the meeting of the SIT/Principal Officers of the University with all staff of the University on “the state of affairs of the University” held on Thursday, 12th January, 2023 at the university campus, read the riot act and threatened workers of the university with imminent sack.

Mr. Osakue, who presided over the meeting in the absence of the Chairman of SIT, Mr. Andrew Olotu was quoted as saying that the Executive Governor of Edo State and Visitor to the University, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has directed the sack of unspecified number of workers of the University over the recently conducted inconclusive staff biometrics verification exercise as well as the recently suspended workers’ strike in the university.

He was also quoted as saying that “this meeting is not called to massage the ego of anybody” and alleged to have vowed that certain category of staff whom he described as “agents of darkness” would be sent parking from the University in the coming weeks.

In particular, he was said to have embarked on bullying, intimidation, and humiliation of staff, including Professors and Pensioners that attended the meeting, which resulted in the meeting ending abruptly as a result of workers’ reaction.

Rising from a crucial session yesterday at Ekpoma, the University’s Chapter of ASUU condemned the statements credited to Mr. Osakue and maintained that by his unguided utterances, action and behaviour, he had reduced the university to “a banana republic” where there are no laws, rules, and regulations.

“By his current carriage and disposition in the University, Mr. Osakue has accentuated and deepened the reign of impunity, lawlessness, illegality, tyranny, intimidation, and oppression in the university. He has constituted himself into a new deity in the university. This is alien to university culture and tradition. He should be called to order”, the Union said.

In the statement signed by Dr. Cyril Oziegbe Onogbosele and Dr. William Odion, Chairperson and Assistant Secretary of ASUU AAU, Ekpoma, respectively, the Union claimed that the vast majority of staff of the university have not been paid salaries for several months, contrary to the belief being marketed to the State Government and the public by Mr. Osakue that the university does not owe workers of the university salaries.

“Many workers (academic and non-academic) are being owed 12 months salaries and the university still owes humongous amount of unremitted check-off dues and other sundry deductions” dating back from September 2020, the Union maintained.

The Union alleged that the University has held down the promotion of vast majority of workers for several years, adding that, while many staff have had their promotion held for 3 years, some have been denied promotion for more than 5. This has resulted in the morale of staff being at the lowest ebb.

The Union observed that instead of the University authorities to commit itself and double effort to address the knotty problems of unpaid salaries, unremitted check off dues and other deductions as well as withheld staff promotion; they are busy dishing out threats and intimidation to workers.

The Union expressed concern and fear that if the university is allowed to remain in its present situation, the University cannot experience meaningful learning and research, and may not deliver on its mandates to the people of Edo State and Nigerians.