Uncertainty as massive resignation hits IBB varsity

It seems the mass resignation of about seven lecturers at the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai (IBBUL), in Niger state, was not a novel incident.

But another lecturer at the institution, who did not want to be named, told Blueprint that many academic staff have discreetly resigned their appointments in recent times.

“That four professors in our university tendered their resignation letters is not bewildering. It is not a novelty. It is something that has been going on in recent times, albeit behind the scene. Others who have left only choose not to come to the public domain for obvious reasons,” the anonymous staff said, in a phone chat, with this reporter.

Seven lecturers of the school on Friday, threw in their towel.

It was gathered that those who voluntarily resigned are professors and associate professors with ‘decades of experience as prolific scientists and researchers’.

Among those who left their jobs are Prof. Eddi Floyd of Sociology Department; Associate Prof. Sunday Otenca of Public Administration Department; Dr. Wanchin Abubakar of Mathematics Department; Associate Prof. Samuel Ibbi of Geography Department; and Prof. Rose Mary Igbo of the Department of Adult Education.

Checks by Blueprint however, indicated that they terminated their contracts over alleged non-payment of earned allowances.

They tendered their resignation to Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Abu-Kasimu Adamu, it was learnt.

“The menace of late payment of staff salaries, together with obsolete infrastructure, among other teething challenges, are part of what is making our colleagues leave in droves,” a non-academic staff who craved anonymity, said while lamenting the ugly development.

Sequel to the mass resignation, chairmen of the IBBUL chapters of ASUU, SANU, NASU and NAAT, at a press conference in Minna, said the university was in a critical situation.

They maintained that there is need for urgent action by the state government to forestall further brain drain.

“We want to inform all Nigerlites that IBB University is in a critical situation that needs urgent attention in order to forestall braindrain in the university. We want to categorically state here that not less than eight lecturers and mostly Professors have tendered their resignation letters to the vice chancellor, amidst inadequate number of academic staff,” chairman of the Joint Action Committee, Adamu Isah, said on behalf of the unions.

The unions complained of how staff salaries are being handled over the months by the state government.

They said payment of salaries comes between 12 and 20 of the following month, while the government has kept quiet over minimum wage, even after other institutions have received theirs.

The unions called on Governor Abubakar Sani Bello to attend to their plights, stressing the needs for dialogue to proffer solutions to the lingering problems bedeviling the institution.

They called on students, parents and other stakeholders to support efforts in salvaging the standard and integrity of the institution.

However, Mall. Baba Akote, Deputy Registrar and Head, Information and Public Relations Unit, has debunked reports that ten other academic staff were sacked.

He said the seven lecturers who resigned recently did that on their own volition.

Akote, who said any university management will be disturbed over such a ‘worrisome’ development, however explained that their school management board has been proactive and not resting on its oars till the challenges bedeviling the institution are permanently addressed.

According to him, IBBUL management has since been liaising with the state government to tackle the problems of staff welfare, and infrastructural development in their institution.

The student union government, meanwhile, has also reacted to the lecturers’ decision to quit working at the university, describing it as an action capable of retarding the accelerated development and growth of the Niger state-owned tertiary institution. 

The SUG president, Baba Idris Elomi, in a press statement titled, “Education is a Right, not a Privilege,” said: “It is no longer news that the pride of Niger state, our prestigious Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, since after the departure of our hero, late Engr. Abdullahi Abdulkadir Kure, from the corridor of power, have been neglected.

According to Elomi, the IBBUL’s success story would have been buried save the interventions of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), which has been funding critical projects in the school.

He said, “Successive governments in the state have long abandoned funding support for construction of critical infrastructures, while also been indifferent in catering for the welfare of staff and students.”

Maryam Faruk, a graduate of Biochemistry at the school, while chatting with this reporter on phone, passionately begged Governor Abubakar Sani Bello to quickly come to the aid of her former alma matter. 

She said: “I knew all the lecturers who resigned. They are very dedicated, and have been patriotic in serving the university. I dare say that the university has lost the very best of their academic assets.”