The Academic Staff Union of Universities, Federal University, Otuoke, has thrown its weight behind the demotion of seven professors of the institution by the Senator Gbemisola Saraki-led governing council.
The ASUU-FUO, in a communiqué signed by the Chairman, Dr. Joseph Omoro and the Secretary, Dr. John Kalama, released after its emergency meeting at the institution said the downgrade of the affected professors followed the extant rules governing the university.
The ASUU-FUO posited that the governing council verified the case of the seven professors, took a decision at its 10th meeting and announced that based on lack of requisite scholarship, the seven were reclassified.
The professors affected by the demotion according to the union were Dr. Steve Nwabuzor, downgraded to Lecturer I; Dr. Leonard Shilgba, downgraded from Professor to Senior Lecturer; Dr. Timothy Falade-Obalande, brought down to Senior Lecturer; Dr. Felina Nwadike, from the rank of Associate Professor to Senior Lecturer; Dr. Sepribo Lawson-Jack, downgraded from the rank of Associate Professor to Lecturer I; Dr. Marcelina Offoha, from Associate Professor to Lecturer I; and Dr. Evans Eze, from Associate Professor to Lecturer II.
The ASUU-FUO, which said its duty was to protect the right of its members, declared that it would not encourage or condone acts of indiscipline from members.
It said in line with the academic tradition, it was the responsibility of its members to work hard and be productive enough to acquire requisite scholarship to comply with appointment/ promotion guidelines set by the university.
The ASUU – FUO maintained that the policy was not intended to replace appointees of the former Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mobolaji Aluko but an attempt to sanitise the system.
The union noted, “For instance, Dr. Steve Nwabuzor, now downgraded from the rank of professor to Lecturer I is not COREN-registered yet was appointed the Dean of Faculty of Engineering by the former Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mobolaji Aluko. His removal as the Dean is in line with the extant laws of COREN.
“That when the current Vice Chancellor (Prof. Seth Accra Jaja) assumed duty in 2016, he did not remove Nwabuzor as the Dean of Faculty of Engineering despite the illegality (contradiction to COREN Act) of this appointment. He remained the Dean until December 2018.”
“That the action (the reclassification/demotion/downgrading of the seven professors) was not a witch hunt by the current Vice Chancellor on perceived opponents/allies of his predecessor/diasporans as claimed.”
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