Na’Allah to Uni Abuja community: l support you till my last hour as your Vice-Chancellor

says 2nd semester lectures resume May 13

Brushing aside the purported strike declared by a faction of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Abuja chapter, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, has assured staff and students of his determination to work much harder and support them till the last hour of his tenure on June 30, 2024.

Na’Allah, who noted that the University Safety Unit had been directed to protect life and property on campus and guard against any forms of harassment or molestation of staff and students in the discharge of their lawful duties, gave the assurance in an electronic message to the University Community on Sunday.
According to him, The gallant actions of our academic staff must be commended in standing for what is right and rejecting the strike mongers who tend to put their own interest above the genuine interest of the University of Abuja. Don’t be deceived by their use the ‘rhetoric of common good,’ there is no truth in anything they say, or any reason they have given to close the campus from its academic activities, they only manipulate daily and they are driven by hatred and crude determination to cripple the great University of Abuja. The click of strike mongers at the University of Abuja are not the genuine ASUU that I know and honour and respect, the ASUU I pay monthly dues to as a member!”

The Vice-Chancellor stated that he had received messages of solidary from across Nigeria, for the resilience of the majority of the academic staff, who stood strongly against the calculated disruption of academic calendar by the ASUU group over unsubstantiated demands.
“The message overwhelmingly conveyed to me by our dear students and by all segments of Nigerians is the same message from the majority of the patriotic University of Abuja staff that the UofA will not, MUST NOT and cannot be on strike, he declared.

Na’Allah’s message read in part: I must commend all the University of Abuja academics for ignoring the so-called declaration of strike by the click: examinations have continued and most successfully completed by Saturday, some senior students are proceeding on SIWES and many are remaining on campus or going on a short break to return to campus promptly in accordance to the approved academic calendar, and lectures for the second semester will resume unfailingly on May 13. 2024! Our University has achieved so much over the years, the enemies of our students, who want to keep them on campus forever, turning a four-year degree program to a six or seven years’ program just like they have always done before will never succeed!”

Reasons for declaring strike illogical

Na’Allah maintained that the reasons for declaring strike by the aggrieved ASUU members were baseless. According to him, “Look at their reasons, how can any group who love its University and the great UofA students and who are sympathetic to their parents go on strike and threaten to close down the University for such flimsy reasons?

“Elections are already being held of deans across the faculties, and have already been concluded for four faculties, and in any case, election is set and supervised by Management, not by any voluntary union on campus. The election timetable was published and circulated across the campus and every contestant and the lecturer voter is being mobilised to campaign and earn the confidence of those who would vote for him or her. Those asking for ALL elections to be done in one day just want to impose their usual sectional, godfatherism, and preconceived plans on the University. When has the university Management interfered in the election of staff unions on campus? How can a small click of ASUU members dictate the dates for an official dean election in which voters and possible contestants do not belong to only one Union? And why should this be a reason to go on strike and close down the University?

“The advertisement for the position of a new Vice-Chancellor to succeed an incumbent in office is done within the last six months of the term of the current Vice-Chancellor. The Minister of Education, without the Governing Council, is the supervising minister and has advertised so that the University will not have a vacuum when the current Vice Chancellor leaves office on June 30, 2024! The strike mongers also gave this as a reason for the strike. In what ways would a great University be dragged down the drain as this small group of people want to do? I suspect that some of them may be fearful of the inability to stop the transition to a new and stronger Vice Chancellor and want to cripple the great UofA. How can people who love our dear University give such a reason to close down a University and jeopardise the future of our dear students?!”

He added: The UniAbuja Microfinance Bank is a business venture where student entrepreneurs can get loans for their businesses and where the Entrepreneurship fund can be instituted to support our students, market woman and man, farmers, traders from the indigenous community and Abuja in general can earn monetary and banking support for their businesses, and the University Management has invested close to N250 million in the bank in which ASUU contributed share was only N4 million. The bank has earned CBN’s Approval-in-Principle, and is determined to take off. Management has also approved and written a letter to ASUU to process through the company secretary one of its members to represent it on the board, just like it has invited the FCT Indigenous community to select a person to represent it. Why should such an already resolved issue of a campus business be given as a reason to close down a University? The strike mongers would go to any length to jeopadise the stability of the great UofA and the future of our dear students!

“As for staff promotion, the University approaches the Federal Minister of Education to approve promotion because he is empowered to run the University in the absence of the Governing Council who are representing the same Federal Government whenever they are in place. Some of our members are being caught up by age and many would be forced to retire if they do not move to the next rank before they become 65, and many staff, academic and non-academic, have stagnated for years and would need to be encouraged by being recognised for their hard work through the promotion that they deserve and overdue, and in most cases this promotion also lead to a slight increase in salary, and the University Management only did what other Federal universities are doing by approaching the Minister of Education to approve promotion on behalf of Council.

ASUU exco members among beneficiaries of staff promotion

The Vice-Chancellor revealed that some of the current executive members of ASUU were beneficiaries of the recent promotion approved by the same Minister they were castigating for filling the vacuum in the absence of a Governing Council at the University of Abuja.

He stated: “The truth is that without the approval of the Minister, several current executive members of ASUU who recently got promotion would not have been promoted. Yet, they accepted their own promotion and the monetary benefits that came with it, and yet forbade Management from processing the promotion of other deserved staff. Please ask them, when does professorial promotion end with the completion of external assessment and not the approval of such an assessment by Council? If the Minister had not approved the results of the external assessment, these people who are desperate in keeping our great and deserving staff on the same cadre for donkey years while pretending they love them. They accepted the power of the Minister to approve their own promotion, yet they cannot wait to declare strike to stop the promotion of other staff not only from ASUU but from unions across the University.

Among those due for promotion and were duly promoted were members of SSANU, NASU, NAIT, etc! Since when does one Union have the power to dictate the life and progress of other unions? Such a pomposity of a click who claims to represent ASUU at the UofA!
“My dear staff and students, you can see the selfishness of those who seek to destroy the University of Abuja academic calendar! I want to assured you that your Vice-Chancellor will join the majority of academic staff and all other staff of the University to say a big NO to them. Truly speaking these people are not the genuine and respected ASUU members some of whom I respect will never look in the eye, and some of whom met and dialogued with me when National ASUU sent a Visitation Team to campus.
Peace, security guaranteed on campus

The Vice-Chancellor further assured: “I want to assure all staff of the continued peace and security on campus. This click is going about threatening staff to leave and abandon work. They are threatening to discipline staff as if they are the employers of those staff. What they have is just to manipulate elections into official university management offices such as they seek to do now and threaten staff that they would work and manipulate against their being appointed as Vice Chancellor or elected as Deans or Provost on campus. This click forgot that it is only God the Almighty that determines what becomes of human beings and how far everyone goes in life. They have not learned from their own history right here on campus that those they have conspired and manipulated against in elections and appointments due to sectional and selfish interest have gone to become successful Vice Chancellors, Deans and even appointed into higher political offices.
“My dear staff and students, do not be afraid of this click, your fate is NOT on their hands! It is in the hand of your creator who loves you and would ensure that your destiny and your prayers in life are fulfilled.

“Go about your own business on campus. Do not miss or cause others to miss any exam or lecture, neither should you allow them to use fake rhetorics of being the defender of your progress or the dignity of the University of Abuja to deceive you. They are the same old gang that sustained cults on campus. Some people hall bent on strike are facing disciplinary actions, they defend and encourage exploitation of students including sexual harassment by ensuring that investigation and disciplinary committees do not submit reports or manipulate their findings, they mean every bad about the past history of the University.

“The UofA has left yesterday behind, and has left them behind and they would be wise to catch up or find themselves dropped along the way if they fail to change.
“The University Safety Unit has a firm directive to protect life and property on campus, and would not allow any staff or student to be harassed or molested for going about their lawful duties. Please move around freely. Again, classes resume for the Second Semester on Monday May 13, 2024! I look forward to see you around and please let me know if there is any way I can be helpful to you in the achievement of your noble goals this academic year. I will work hard and support you by the grace of God till the last hour of my term as your Vice-Chancellor on June 30, 2024!”

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