ASUU criticises Plateau government for removing PLASU VC and dissolving the governing council

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Plateau State University Chapter has criticised the Plateau State Government for dissolving the university’s governing council and removing the vice chancellor, Professor Malau Bernard Matur, without following the university’s existing laws.

The Union, in a statement signed by its Chairman, Dr. Monday Hassan Zitta, and Secretary, Comrade Deme S. Bitrus, respectively, praised the state government for resolving the university crisis, which resulted in the suspension of the strike action and the resumption of academic activities, but expressed concern about the removal of the Vice Chancellor and the dissolution of the Governing Council.

It stated that at the time the decision was made, the Union was immersed in industrial conflict with management, council, and the government over the inability to honour the agreement signed in 2022.

The Union posited that rather than addressing the main substance of the agreement so that the strike action could be suspended promptly, the management and council expended time, effort, and resources in breaking the union through the adoption of divide-and-rule tactics, media propaganda, victimisation, intimidation, and threats against the members of the union.

The chapter further averred that the actions further worsened and protracted the disharmony that halted progress in the university, adding that some key government officials intervened in the negotiations and major information that was being suppressed ab initio was revealed.

“It was established that the then Vice Chancellor, Professor Malau Bernard Matur, and the Governing Council had suppressed and treated with nonchalance vital information regarding the demands of the union from the visitor to the university, and this was responsible for the strike action.

“While the Union condemns the action of the individuals holding these offices, the Union still holds in high esteem the laws that protect these offices from undue interference.”

According to the union, the government has graciously and courageously taken on the responsibility of fulfilling some of the issues in the agreement that was signed by the past administration.

It, however, commended the government but categorically stated that without due respect to the laws governing the university, no matter how noble the intentions are, such actions will ultimately relegate the university to a mere political and not an academic institution.

“Although the action of the government was aimed at resolving the crisis at the university, the option of following due process was jettisoned,” it said.