The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has distanced itself from the appointment of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, as a Professor at the Federal University of Technology, FUTO, Owerri.
The union said it was not convinced that the minister deserved the appointment.
Recall that the ASUU chapter of FUTO had said standard processes was followed in the appointment of Pantami as Professor of Cyber Security in the university, following an investigation by the panel.
However, reacting, the national body of the union said there was something wrong in Panatami’s appointment.
National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said this at a briefing after the union’s National Executive Council, NEC, meeting at the University of Abuja, which held between November 13 and 14.
Osodeke said: “The controversy this appointment has generated is unprecedented in the recent history of Nigerian universities.
“Indeed, it has generated passionate comments and responses from individuals and groups within and outside the nation.
“The controversy centres on the perceived roles played by the University administration in the appointment, and the subsequent seeming endorsement by the ASUU branch at FUTO.
“Consequently, some media commentators — print electronic and social — have impugned that the national body of ASUU was in agreement with the position of ASUU-FUTO Branch on the said appointment.
“Nothing could be farther from the truth. ASUU, as a union, has never supported, promoted or endorsed any illegal appointment or promotion of academics in any Nigerian University, including those of its members.
“As a Union, we have always insisted on strict adherence to due process and the rule of law in all aspects of university administration and governance.”
‘We’ve set up a committee on the matter’
He said the union rejected the ASUU-FUTO Committee’s report and set up an independent committee to investigate all issues surrounding the controversial appointment of Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) as a Professor of Cyber Security in the University.
“Thereafter, the position of ASUU-NEC shall be made known to the public.
“In addition, another committee shall visit the ASUU-FUTO branch with a view to determining the role of members in the controversial appointment and report back to NEC for further action,” the ASUU President said.
The union further lamented the state of insecurity, especially in the educational institutions which is gradually becoming a norm, saying the security architecture in the country has almost collapsed.