Management of Ambrose Alli University, AAU has cautioned members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma chapter to refrain from pursing personal vendetta, vilification and malicious mudslinging on the person of Prof. Ignatius Onimawo, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, over the issue of funding of the institution.
The institution’s management assured that efforts were being made by the state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki to redress the current funding situation at the state own varsity.
This is coming on the heels of the incessant onslaught on the Vice Chancellor by the university’s branch of ASUU.
The institution’s ASUU leadership had accused Prof. Ignatius Onimawo as allegedly responsible for a possible prolonged strike in the university following an indefinite strike action embarked by members on 25th March.
Edward Aihevba, the University spokesman, in a statement in Benin City condemned the vituperation of ASUU, saying that the union was pursuing a personal vendetta, vilification and malicious mudslinging of the Vice-chancellor of Ambrose Alli University, rather than issues of members.
According to Aihevha, “ASUU leadership under the watch of Dr. Monday Igbafen has expressed his negativity and clandestine resolve for the pursuit of a personal vendetta, vilification and malicious mudslinging of the person of the Vice-chancellor of Ambrose Alli University, a man whose achievements and contribution to the growth and development of Ambrose Alli University is unparalleled .
“In the release, Igbafen said the students should hold the V.C responsible for the strike.
“Just to set the records straight, the Vice Chancellor has nothing to gain from the strike of the Staff Union in the University.
“Rather than encouraging Union strike, our amiable Vice-chancellor, with the love of the University at heart has appealed to the staff to seek an alternative solution to the problem of funding in the University, rather than the total strike that seeks to close down the University and threaten its very survival.
The spokesman who absolved his principal of any complicity as regards ASUU leadership allegation said, the VC is not responsible for the inability of the University to pay the current outstandings in salaries and check-off dues.
He stated ” In March, 2020 the subvention coming to the university from the State Government, dropped to less than half of what it used to be. In September 2020, it further dropped to less than one quarter of its former level.
“The sudden adverse financial situation in the university was complicated by the fact that from March 2020, the Covid-19 lockdown coupled with the National ASUU strike kept students out of the University till February, 2021.
“This, made Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which was used to augment subvention for the payment of salaries, to be totally unavailable.
“The University Management had managed to pay salaries by prudent management of the subvention and IGR up till March 2020. When subvention dropped drastically and at the same time IGR dropped during Covid-19, the University Management was still able by dint of prudent Management to pay net salary up till December, 2020. The University Management should be commended for this feat.”he said.
He lamented that ASUU leadership in the institution rather than commend the visionary leadership of the VC had gone to trade blames on the University Management for the outstanding payments.
“The public should be made aware that the generality of the staff know where the problem lies, and that it is definitely not the Management.The State Governor and Visitor to the university has promised to make a statement at the end of April 2021 to redress the current funding situation.”he assured.