The Abia State College of Education, Technical, Arochukwu (ASCETA) has described the purported directive by the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to call its provost to order as “provocative, confrontational and a political blackmail.”
It insisted that it was disrespectful for the leadership of COEASU to ask Ikpeazu to call the provost, Dr Phillips Nto, to order over the sack of a former staff of the college identified as Kelvin Egesi.
In a statement issued by the Registrar of ASCETA, Ikechukwu Odemenam, the college faulted COEASU for its derogatory remarks against the governor by insinuating that he (Ikpeazu) erred in appointing Nto as the provost of ASCETA.
The college wondered why it is only now that an official of COEASU was sacked that the body started raising allegations of non-qualification and incompetence against a provost who has put in seven years in office.
ASCETA said: “It is unfortunate that COEASU is bereft of the elementary knowledge that education falls under the concurrent list and that under the edict establishing ASCETA, Nto was qualified to be the provost.”
It also noted that as a former lecturer, Ikpeazu should know that Nto, who acquired his doctorate degree in 2010 and has chalked up more than 17 years of teaching experience at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike was eminently qualified to be appointed the provost.
ASCETA further noted that it is just blatant ignorance and mischief that blinded COEASU to appreciate the fact that it has the power to hire and fire and therefore owes no union any explanation in the management of its affairs.
It lamented that instead of COEASU consulting and engaging with the management or even having the courtesy to formally write to the governor, it resorted to public disparaging of the Abia State government.
The college said it would not be intimidated or blackmailed by what it described as militant unionism, adding: Since COEASU has chosen this belligerent path of threat and terrorism against us and the Abia State government, let them know that we can never be cowed. Indeed we dare them to do their worse.
Insisting that the COEASU’s publication signed by its General Secretary, Dr Ahmed Bazza Lawan, was confrontational and therefore, will not be left unchallenged, the college maintained that since Kelvin Egesi has been sacked, “COEASU should find him a job because we employed him as a staff and not as a unionist.”
The college advised staff to face the job they were employed to do and shun politicians who want to use them to destabilise the PDP-led government in Abia State.
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