‘It’s against university autonomy’ — ASUU, CONUA fault FG’s order shutting varsities

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA) have faulted the federal government’s directive on the closure of universities in the country.


On Thursday, the National Universities Commission (NUC) ordered vice-chancellors to shut universities for three weeks to enable students to participate in the coming elections.


The commission said the directive followed an order by Adamu Adamu, the minister of education.


But speaking in separate interviews with TheCable on Friday, ASUU and CONUA kicked against the directive.

Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU president, said only the senate of a university has the power to order its closure based on provisions of the law.


“My understanding is that the minister has no right to close a university. It is purely the function of the senate of a university, not the minister, vice-chancellor, or president. That is what the law says,” he said.


Corroborating him, Niyi Sunmonu, CONUA’s national president, described the government’s order as a “blanket directive”.


Sunmonu argued that the directive was a breach of university autonomy, adding that such could disrupt the academic calendars of some universities.


“The blanket directive appears to usurp the power of the senate of the various universities in the country which is expected to structure the university calendars,” he said.


“Also, because we are not running uniform calendars in the country, there could be some universities that would be shut down while exams are ongoing.


“What that blanket directive does is to just disrupt the academic calendar of those universities including those that are at different stages of their calendar. This also takes away the autonomy of the universities.”

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