We’ll not be intimidated by Otuoke varsity, demoted dons declare
Seven demoted professors of the Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, have declared that the antics of Vice Chancellor, Prof. Seth Jaja will not intimidate them.They stated this at a press conference in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, led by Prof. Steve Nwabuzor, Dr. Fellina Nwadike and Dr. Evans Ugboji-Eze.
The professors accused the vice chancellor of chasing shadows and running the university like his private estate.The Nigerian professors were recruited from various universities across the globe during the pioneering years of the institution.
According to them, if the intimidation were allowed to stand, it would be counterproductive to the government’s policy of encouraging Nigerians in the Diaspora to return home.
They charged the VC of tribalism and nepotism, alleging that he has showed from the outset of his tenure that he was uncomfortable with the crop of senior academic and administrative staff that his predecessor had employed.
“Having replaced all the old appointees in positions of leadership, Prof. Jaja decided to terminate their appointments by recklessly and illegally demoting them and converting their tenure appointments to contract appointments,” they said.
According to them, the result of Jaja’s indiscriminate recruitment exercise is that today, the VC, all principal officers and almost all the senior academic and administrative staffs of the university are from state institutions. They added: “The effect is that the VC frequently applies rules and regulations in the management of the institution that should not apply to a federal university.
“Management meetings do not hold and decisions that affect the livelihood and careers of staff are taken by a few individuals at secret locations.”
Nwabuzor, who spoke on behalf of the seven, also accuse the VC of totally ignoring the physical and infrastructure development of the university, while quadrupling students’ intake to drive incensed fees collection.
They expressed concerns that not a single classroom, or laboratory has been added to the school, thereby stretching existing facilities to bursting limits at great inconvenience to students and worker.
The embattled dons disclosed that the school’s federal allocations of about seven 7 billion were yet to be collected in Abuja, while the VC remains at his home institution in Port Harcourt, making twice weekly trips to Otuoke, to pursue perceived opponents.
The university had last Wednesday disclosed that they were demoted to lecturers and other six non-teaching staff sacked, because they lack the requisite scholarship, while some had abscond from the institution. The Registrar, Mr. Iruo Yousuo,in a statement that the school’s Governing Council took the decision at its 10th meeting to sanitise the system and take the university to greater heights.