AAU alumni reject Obaseki’s special intervention law

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The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Alumni Association Worldwide, Ambrose Alli University, has condemned the Special Intervention Powers Provisions Law 2021, which gave the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, the power to appoint an acting Vice Chancellor for the University.

After the emergency meeting in Benin City, the state capital, the association in a communique signed by the President, Chief Dave Emakunu Esq. and Hon. Johnson Idolor Akpolome, Secretary, said the association frowns at the unprecedented amendment of the University Law by the Ambrose Alli University (Special intervention Powers) Provisions Law 2021, resulting in the appointment of an acting VC and the dissolution of the Governing Council.

They condemned the deliberate attempt to damage the image of the University that has notable persons in the country.

Its National Executive Council (NEC) expressed displeasure at the Ambrose Alli University Special Intervention Powers Provisions law, 2021, which was hurriedly passed by the Edo State House of Assembly without due process as there was no public hearing to seek the input of all the major stakeholders in the University and the general public.

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“NEC condemned the new law in its entirety and sought that it be repealed without further delay, as the law is capable of causing anarchy in the University and creating a legacy reminiscent of military dictatorship. By that, the appointment of an acting Vice-Chancellor should follow due process and with a definite duration, after which the process of appointing a substantive Vice-Chancellor should commence by the 1999 University law as amended.

“The dissolution of the Governing Council of the University was done in bad faith and should be rescinded as there are no indicting reports against the Council in the Public domain. NEC calls on the Government to immediately consider the Visitation Panel’s report and issue a white paper that would guide future actions in the University and by best governance practices as was done in the case of the University of Lagos recently.

“NEC expressed displeasure over the repeated scandalous remarks made by the Edo State Government about the products of the University and viewed such remarks as an attempt to give a “dog a bad name to kill it”. Most of the products of our University are doing excellently well in their choosing endeavors.
It also sympathizes with all Unions in the University over the hardship occasioned by non-payment of salaries, checkoff dues, and other sundry deductions running into several months and called on the Edo State government, as a matter of concern, to do the needful to enable the striking unions to call off their strike and return to work.

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“We noted with dismay the actions of the members of the Edo State House of Assembly who are Alumni of the University in colluding, conniving, and condoning the enactment of the obnoxious law. Accordingly, NEC passed a vote of no confidence on them, underfunding the University. Edo State government should as a matter of urgency, adopt genuine ways of ensuring adequate funding of the University.”

The Alumni national body also said it has resolved to collaborate with the government and the University to facilitate regular and adequate funding of the University and appeals to the governor, Godwin Obaseki to follow best practices in the University in genuinely exercising his visitorial powers.”

Recall that the Edo State House of Assembly recently passed a law ceding the administration of the state-owned Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma to Governor Godwin Obaseki, through what it called Special Intervention Powers for visitors to the University.

Acting on the power confined to him by the new law, the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki on May,11 appointed Professor Benson Osadolor as the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University, while he dissolved the Governing Council.

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