The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University (IBBU) earlier today, staged a protest within the school premises, demanding the removal of the institution’s Vice-chancellor, Professor Adamu Abu-Kasim and Professor Nuhu Tachi, acting chairman of the school’s governing council.
In a viral video, the joint unions marched from a venue where they had a meeting to the administrative block where they held their placards afloat and registered their grievances.
Supposedly, academic activities were to take off at the institution today after an eight-month of nationwide industrial action embarked upon by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which began on February 14, 2022. But students’ hopes were dashed as JAC headed its head up.
WikkiTimes understands the institution is being faced by myriads of problems. Two weeks earlier, JAC passed a vote of no-confidence on Abu-Kasim over some administrative issues, hoping the latter would take time to address its concerns.
The scuffles started, significantly, when the management defied the nationwide strike, calling students to resume back on campus. However, only a few lecturers held classes.
An insider told this paper that those lecturers who held classes in the previous weeks are on contract with the university and they risked contract termination should they refuse to teach.
‘VC SERVING AS BURSAR, REGISTRAR — HE CONTROLS GOVERNING COUNCIL’
In a phone interview with WikkiTimes, Adamu Kagara, chairman of JAC, IBB University said everyone is “fed up” with the vice-chancellor, Abu-Kasim.
According to the chairman, the vice-chancellor did not only serve in his mandate, “he had taken over everyone’s function including the bursar and the registrar.
That is not all, Abu-Kasim since Major Idris Garba, the chairman of IBB University’s Governing Council fell sick, had been controlling the council through its acting chairman, Professor Tachi.
“Governing council is supposed to be independent,” Kagara said. “But they have aligned with the vice-chancellor.” He noted that the council is not fair in its dealing, hence the unions also lost confidence in it.
WITHELD ALLOWANCE, DELAYED SALARIES AND MORE
Kagara during the interview explained that the vice chancellor is in the habit of shortchanging the unions. According to him, he had unconditionally delayed August and September salaries despite pleas and grumblings.
The JAC boss told WikkiTimes that the Niger State government owes the joint unions an estimated sum of one billion naira. “Recently, it paid N150 million into the institution’s account but the vice-chancellor refused to release the fund, saying we must sign some agreements,” Kagara said.
“The money released by the government was about 25 percent of the withheld allowances. We appreciate that the government paid part of it,” he added, saying the vice-chancellor further withheld the money saying the union must sign an agreement to forfeit the remaining fund “which is about N500 million.”
BLACKOUT, ZERO INTERNET AND WATER SCARCITY
According to WikkiTimes‘ analysis, the management generates approximately N250,000 million from students annually. This figure was drawn from their ICT Service Charges, according to data obtained by WikkiTimes. As at last year, there were over 13,000 students in IBB University. However, each student both new and returning — indigene, non-indigene and foreign — were billed N3,000 for ICT services.
Despite this, the school had been disconnected from internet services since February this year, WikkiTimes can report. Since the emergence of the new Director of ICT, Dr Ibrahim Abdullahi, according to an insider, the management has not subscribed for internet connectivity. Although, thunderstorm had destroyed some equipment in the ICT center.
This is in addition to zero power supply across the six faculties in IBB University, including the administrative block and other offices. Water scarcity is another endemic ravaging the school as students often trek from hostels to inside school before they could get water.
It could be recalled that the Abu-Kasim-led administration increased the school’s tuition fee last year. However, the unions believe there should be an improvement in the system.
WHAT JAC WANT
JAC under the leadership of Kagara is not only demanding the removal of Abu-Kasim and the acting chairman of governing council, it is demanding for a stable power supply, provision of water across the university, reactivation of internet services and formation of a visitation/audit panel.
“IBB University is now 17 years old,” Kagara said. ” And since its creation, there has been no time that a single panel has been set up. So we want the panel that will visit often time, assess the university and recommend things that needed to be done for a way forward.”
“We have written to the state governor, head of service, commissioner for tertiary institutions and the chancellor of the university,” Kagara told WikkiTimes. “We want him removed. We have declared that we have no business with him again.”
According to the chairman, JAC will meet the commissioner for tertiary education tomorrow for a discussion. He, however, noted that the unions had no issues with the students, saying no one would evict them from the hostel as it was rumoured earlier.
“We have no issues with students, but nobody will work. If the students want to stay in the hostel, it is their decision,” he added.
Efforts to reach the management were fruitless at press time, as the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abu Kasim Adamu did not respond to calls and enquiries sent to him.