The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the umbrella for faculty at Nigerian universities, rejected the report submitted by a committee in its Owerri area, Imo state, on the appointment of the Minister of Communications and Economy of Nigeria, Isa Ibrahim, popularly known as Pantami, as a professor of cybersecurity in the direction of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO).
The president of the union, Emmanuel Osodeke, a professor, addressing reporters in Abuja on Monday at the end of the two-day meeting of the National Executive Council, said that “there are many unanswered questions about the chair of Ibrahim”.
He also said the public would have to await his verdict at the end of the investigation from another panel he had already set up.
He said; “ASUU NEC members, like many other interested Nigerians, did not accept the ASUU FUTO congress report. There are serious doubts and unanswered questions bordering on Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim’s (Pantami) qualification for the position. The FUTO Branch Committee report failed to justify Dr. Isah Ali Ibrahim’s (Pantami) appointment as professor based on required experience, professional qualification and background at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (ATBU). “
The ASUU called on the management of Nigerian universities and other academic institutions to join in its efforts to safeguard what it called the waning image of the Nigerian university system, stating that the vice chancellors “have no commercial activities that exchange honorary degrees. and academic positions for personal and immediate gains. “
The ASUU said it will continue to slander “the collective integrity of committed scholars and other patriots who are working day and night to elevate the system that produced them.”
The union said that even when the congress of its FUTO section approved Ibrahim’s appointment as professor, the secretary of the committee he had set up had made a U-turn to reject the verdict, giving a dissenting report.
The union said it will probe its members’ activities in assigning the chair, saying the report raised more questions than answers.
Mr. Osodeke said, “Some critical questions that ask for answers include the following: Did Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) meet the 12-year post-qualification requirement contained in the announcement? Do they have the relevant academic publications required and are 70% present on the web? Can a serving minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria take up a tenured position at the university? Is he able to perform his official duties as required of a professor at the same time as an serving minister? Has Dr. Has Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) met the conditions of teaching, supervision, mentoring of younger academics and academic leadership required of a professor?
“What have the reports of the external experts done on the documents presented by Dr. Does Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) say about his publications? As has always been the culture of academics, what have the referee reports said about him from his previous jobs? What is the general assessment of the students previously taught by him? Has the Governing Council met to approve the appointment?
“In view of the above and having rejected the ASUU-FUTO Committee report, NEC has established an independent committee to investigate all issues relating to the controversial appointment of Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) as Professor of Cyber Security at the ‘University. Subsequently, the position of the ASUU-NEC will be made known to the public. Additionally, another committee will visit the ASUU-FUTO branch in order to determine the role of the members in the controversial appointment and report to the NEC for further action. “
In September, Ibrahim was among seven associate professors, otherwise considered lecturers, who were elevated by the FUTO board of directors to the position of professor at the 186th board meeting.
The university, in a statement, listed others to include Lawrence Ettu as a professor of civil engineering; Godfrey Emeghara as Professor of Maritime Management Technology; Okechukwu Onyelucheya as a professor of chemical engineering; Alex Opara and Chikwendu Okereke as geology professors and Conrad Enenebeaku as chemistry professor.
Ibrahim, who recently sparked a public storm over controversial religious commentary from the past that many have described as inciting and disturbing, was also criticized for the appointment.
Even the university was not spared as many scholars and activists described the minister’s appointment as paternalistic and “an assault on the Nigerian academic system”.
The backlash led to the decision of the ASUU national leadership to set up a probe committee with its Owerri area.
The commission’s report, leaked last week by the media, had cleared the minister, noting that the appointment followed due process.
The apparently dissatisfied union then invited Nigerians to await the report from another committee it had set up at the executive council meeting over the weekend.
He listed the reasons for his doubt about the committee’s report and also pledged to investigate the roles of its members in the alleged fraudulent appointment.
Source: – Premium Times