The Rivers State House of Assembly Committee on Education has begun moves to nip in the bud crisis that has threatened to tear the state owned Ignatius Ajuru University of Education to shreds.
The institution has been enmeshed in claims and counter claims of financial impropriety that has pitched two former Vice Chancellors, on one side, and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, on the other.
Aware of the potential damage the crisis could have on both the students academic activities and the running of the institution, the House Education Committee led by its Chairman, Hon. Doctor Farah Dagogo, on Wednesday, April 12, held ‘ clear the air discussion’ with all the parties involved in the dispute.
Those in attendance from the Institution were the incumbent VC, Prof. O. M. Ndimele and two former VCs, Prof. R. Green-Osahogulu and Prof. J. B. Kinanee.
Also were the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Chairperson, Dr. U. Agi, the Union’s Welfare Officer, Dr. Allwell Orisa and a former Bursar, Dr. David Ojima.
Chairman of the Education Committee, Hon. Doctor Farah Dagogo, allayed fears of any perceived witch hunting, assuring that the Committee’s interest was to get to the root of the crisis and proffer workable solutions.
He expressed worries that if the issues were not resolved amicably and quickly, ‘ it has the propensity of jeopardizing the students academic calendar as well as impact negatively on the smooth running of the university’.
” Under my stewardship as the House Committee Chairman on Education in the Rivers State House of Assembly, I want to do the best within my ability in ensuring that the state owned Tertiary Institutions, as well as the educational sector are in good stead to provide qualitative education comparable with the best in the world.
” Ignatius Ajuru University of Education will not be an exception. I must confess, I’m disturbed and pained with the turn of things at the University. It does not bode well for the future. This infighting and malice must stop. We must channel such energies to the uplift of the institution and not otherwise.
” This meeting is not intended to witch hunt or indict anybody, what the committee is interested in and by extension the State Assembly is how the institution can meet up what it is set up to do in an atmosphere that is devoid of hate, rancour and acrimony.
” We must synergize and make sacrifices, that are only geared towards the growth and development of the university, ” he explained.
The VC of the institution admitted that the division has eaten deep into the fabrics of the institution and ‘such level of malice’ is unhealthy for the growth and development of any citadel of learning.
After hearing and taking documents from all the participants from the institution, the Committee adjourned to a later day to continue with ways of exploring a long last peaceful resolution.