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Interaction With Esan Recreation Club: Asue Ighodalo Got It Wrong With Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma

LAST week, the PDP candidate for Edo State gubernatorial election, Mr. Àsue Ighodalo visited Esan Recreation Club at Ekpoma where he bared his thoughts, convictions and plans about Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma. His interaction with the Club has created doubt in the minds of many stakeholders of the University about his knowledge and understanding of the crises bedeviling the well-being of the University.

Many analysts and critics have opined that the visit to the Club by Asue should have been to the University itself since the political interaction was dominated by talk on issues concerning the crises in the University. Furthermore, they wondered why Àsue preferred visiting the Staff Club at the University of Benin (UNIBEN), a federal university, to visiting AAU, Ekpoma that is a property of Edo State he intends to govern if elected.

On the basis of the utterances of Àsue at the Esan Recreation Club, it seems that the people and authorities responsible for the crises in the University have sufficiently misinformed and influenced him about the situation of things in the University. Most likely, Asue’s plan for the University which is presently facing government’s neglect of funding, crisis of payment of salary, mismanagement, administrative impunity and repression as a result of the Special Intervention Team (SIT) imbloglio, is to continue with the policies of Governor Obaseki-led Administration with little or no change. Asue reiterated the allegations of sex-for-grade, undue graduation of students overseas and corruption against lecturers in the University which stakeholders described as a misguided mindset and irrational sweeping allegations. He also took a swipe at Chief Lawson Omokhiodion-led Governing Council of the University, accusing the former Council Chairman of purchasing official car with questionable millions of naira – an allegation that is false.


Surprisingly, Àsue said little or nothing about the plan for adequate funding of the University; administrative aberration; salary crisis, restoration of autonomy of the University, and the resolution of other critical problems of the University. The romance of a notorious member of the expired SIT with Àsue and the hijack of his campaign organization by the same element has further deepened the doubts of stakeholders of the University about the ability of Àsue to rescue AAU, Ekpoma from its present predicament if elected. The future looks bleak!

Donating two (2) million naira to the Club, Asue was silent on the nagging legal disaster presently plaguing the University as a result of continuing illegal stay of SIT in spite of expiration of its tenure since November 2022.
Stakeholders of the University have expressed shock on the report of Asue’s statement on the University, describing it as an ominous sign of evil days ahead of the University if Asue wins the election. “By his statement, he has brought out himself that nothing positive is in the offing for the University”, they said.

Recall that the University has been facing a gale of crises, especially with the presence of SIT. Currently, the University is been administered as if there is no law guiding it. Recently, due to the aberrations going on in the University, a considerable number of high-ranking staff, particularly professors voluntarily retired or resigned from the University for better places. This has adverse effect on the quality of the academic programmes being run by the University. “In the face of depletion of the quality of staff, what is the fate of accreditation of academic programmes of the University by regulatory and professional bodies?”, many stakeholders have asked. In addition, many staff of the University have not been paid salaries for more than two (2) years for no reasonable and just cause. These have further escalated the crises in the University.

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