By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT: The Academic Staff Union Of Universities, ASUU, in the University of Port Harcourt, UNIPORT, has urged the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency reconstitute the Governing Council for the institution.
Dr. Austen Sado, the Chairman of ASUU Uniport, in a statement in Port Harcourt, enjoined the visitor to the institution, President Muhammadu Buhari, to rely on the provisions of the universities miscellaneous Amendment Act and constitute a Governing Council for UNIPORT.
Sado said the dissolution of the governing council of UNIPORT has added to the challenges faced by the university in recent times, stating that the Act did not give room for vacuum.
He said, “According to the University (miscellaneous provisions) (Amendments) Act 2003 otherwise called the University Autonomy Act No.1, 2007, the only known reasons for which the Visitor may dissolve the Governing Council of a Federal University are ‘incompetence’ and ‘corruption’. Section 2(3) of the Amendment Act provides that:
“Without engaging in any form of legalese, it is clear beyond equivocation that any Council so dissolved shall almost immediately be reconstituted as if the Council were not ab initio dissolved.
“The operating phrase of the section quoted above is ‘shall be immediately constituted’ and it does not give any room for a vacuum in the Governance of the University.
“To dissolve the Governing Council without reconstituting another Council has
created a vacuum and almost tantamount to making the Vice-Chancellor a sole Administrator, particularly at this period of the Covid-19 pandemic when the Senate of the University cannot be convened.”
Sado, however, said the University should not be allowed to operate without a governing Council if FG is committed to fighting corruption.