Led by Prof. Nwabuzor, dean of faculty of engineering, the senior university lecturers explained that the personnel recruited by Aluko from the diaspora had been the target of victimization by the new VC whom they accused of running the school like a sole administrator.
The university dons affected by the decision were: Steve Nwabuzor, Leonard Shilgba, Timothy Falade Obalade, Fellina Nwadike, Sepribo Lawson-Jack, Marcellina Offoha and Evans Ugboji-Eze.
“At the end of Aluko’s tenure, Prof. Seth Accra Jaja from the Rivers State University was appointed VC in February, 2016.
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.
They maintained that since assuming office almost three years ago, Prof. Jaja had totally ignored the infrastructural development of the university while quadrupling the annual student intake from about 600 to 2,600 in a drive to increase fees collection.
“Not a single classroom or laboratory has been added thereby stretching existing facilities to bursting limits at great inconvenience to students and staff.
“Meanwhile, the university has federal allocations of about N7 billion sitting in Abuja. Instead of making all efforts to get these funds released, the vice-chancellor, who for three years has remained at his residence in his home institution in Port Harcourt, making twice weekly trips to Otuoke, is busy pursuing perceived opponents,” they added.
But the leadership of the institution located in Ogbia, former President Goodluck Jonathan’s town, had said that those affected were demoted or sacked for lack of requisite scholarship and abscondment from office, insisting that the rules must be strictly followed.
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.
The professors argued that the decision to embarrass them would be counterproductive to the government’s policy of encouraging Nigerians in the diaspora to return home.