Onitsha—Fresh crisis has erupted in the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, over alleged tenure elongation for the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Fidelis Okafor by the Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, branch of the institution disclosed this yesterday to newsmen at a press conference held after its meeting.
The Union led by Mr. Emeka Nwabunnia who was flanked by his secretary, Dr. Mbanefo Odum and other executive members appealed to governor Obiano to follow due process in the appointment of a Vice-Chancellor as stipulated by the law establishing the university.
The union alleged that there was plan by the governor to elongate Okafor’s tenure for another six months on acting capacity when he is expected to bow out as Vice-Chancellor on September 4, 2016.
Accordingly, the Union gave three weeks ultimatum to the Governor to appoint an Acting Vice-Chancellor before the expiration of the tenure of the incumbent Vice-Chancellor to avoid crisis in the institution.
“Your Excellency, further to the foregoing requests, the Union respectfully reiterates the need to have a properly constituted and functional Governing Council prior to the exit of the incumbent Vice-Chancellor and the assumption of duty by the incoming Ag. Vice-Chancellor. We earnestly request that you use your good offices to remove all obstacles preventing the proper constitution of the Governing Council and Senate before the 4th day of September, 2016, when the tenure of the incumbent Vice-Chancellor, Professor Fidelis Uzochukwu Okafor will expire.
The Union stated that the tenure of the Vice-Chancellor would end on September 4, 2016, having served a single tenure of five years.
But in a separate press conference in the institution, some members of the Union under the aegis of concerned members of ASUU led by Dr. Pascal Oguno condemned the action of the ASUU Chairman and his Secretary on grounds that the Union had no power to announce vacancy for the position of the Vice-Chancellor.
According to him, since there was no properly constituted governing council, it was the prerogative of the visitor (Governor) to announce vacancy of the position of the Vice-Chancellor.
He said that action of the Chairman and Secretary was tantamount to cause crisis in the institution.
“ASUU has acted ultra vires by announcing vacancy for the Vice-Chancellor position and it is embarrassing and an unethical behavior to write a letter to the governor and circulate same to persons who are not members of the university.”