ASUU, ASUP have no right to reject boards

In view of the jettisoning of the procedure for appointing governing boards across higher institutions, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, have no right to challenge Mr President.

The two unions should note that the elected government is entitled to appoint persons of knowledge it deems capable of governing the institutions to achieve its desired objectives.

Like the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu dissolved the boards for almost 11 months, the same government is entitled to constitute the boards by law and appoint any person who has the knowledge to help it fulfil its objectives in the area of education.

The president also has the power to appoint the rector of any polytechnic even after winning election. Section 33 of the 1999 Constitution and the Polytechnic Amended Act 2019 give Mr President the ultimate power to appoint rectors of polytechnics. Section 2 (2) of the 1976 university laws state that the president of the country has the power to appoint people to run universities.

It is for the good of ASUP and ASUU to note that the institutions and the staff are parts of the government machinery, and the Tinubu government constituted members of the Nigerian tertiary schools to rekindle the vision of his renewed hope agenda.

The appointment of the institutions’ board members are aimed at uplifting the standard of Nigeria’s tertiary institutions and rebrand the nation’s education system which has been comatose for many years. This is the renewed hope time, and things cannot remain the old way.

For what Nigerians know, President Tinubu will disown any appointee that doesn’t do well, like what Nigerians continue to see happening in his government.

To shade more light on the constituted board members across the higher institutions, President Tinibu has picked the best hands among the youths, academics, politicians, and technocrats and the demand for only academics needs to be overlooked because it has been tested in the past.

The members of the various institutions can testify to the fact that President Tinubu is aiming to reposition the higher education. Since inception as Nigeria’s president, Tinubu has done much for the universities, fulfilled the promise of paying the staff’s denied salary in the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari of “No work, no pay.” The increment of 35% and 25% were also realistic in his administration in less than a year.

By the power given to the President of Nigeria, ASUP and ASUU have no right to refute the law of the land for their interest to fill in retired educationists before the inauguration of the governing boards.

ASUU and ASUP should wait for time to test the selected renewed hope governing board members to give their best before they can stage the challenge. They should allow the president to do his work of fulfilling the promise of renewing the hope of the education sector without intervention like he allowed them. 

ASUU fought IPPIS and President Tinubu accepted the defeat, while polytechnics increment of salary was made to chief lecturers in the polytechnic and professors in the universities and the polytechnic service scheme which was delayed for years is in the pipeline. 

To help revitalise education, President Tinubu established the student loan scheme for undergraduates. The selected institutional board members will help the president reclaim his goals in the Nigerian tertiary schools and ASUU and ASUP should stop to disrupt the plans of Mr President who means well for the staff of tertiary schools.

Indeed, President Tinubu deserves applause from ASUP and ASUU and should accept his style of leadership in the higher institutions for his renewed hope and bury their sentiments.

Musa Shehu,

Kaduna, Kaduna state

[email protected]

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