The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has warned the Federal Government to stop encouraging corruption in Nigerian universities by not allowing Vice Chancellors accused of corruption arrested and prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to justify the current fight against corruption by the Federal Government.
This warning was made in a communique released at the end of its National Executive Council meeting, where the union said it will amount to double standard on the side of the Federal government if judges and other Nigerians accused of corruption would be arrested and prosecuted, while Vice Chancellors accused of corruption are allowed to remain and even preside over convocations.
In the communique signed by the National President, Comrade Samson Chijioke Ugwoke and the National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Salaam Abdussobur, the union said that its members who expose alleged corrupt practices of some Vice Chancellors were being harassed and suspended while the government has kept mute without taking appropriate actions.
“NEC wondered why Vice-Chancellors who are facing criminal prosecutions incompetent courts, sit-tight in office as in the cases of the Federal University of Technology, Akure and Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, where the Vice-Chancellors of both Universities continue to superintend over the affairs and budgets of the Universities, with the active connivance of their Governing Councils.
“The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Abuja has convened an illegal meeting of Council outside his power since he is not a Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council. NEC concludes that the Federal Government appears to be encouraging the same corruption it proclaims to fight, with the continued stay in office of these Vice-Chancellors, who host convocation ceremonies, hold Council meetings and take actions that put a moral question on the anticorruption stance of the Federal Government.
“Further, Government appears to be operating double standard, if it could insist on the stepping down of Judges being prosecuted for criminal offenses, while Vice- Chancellors are allowed to continue to run amok in Universities.
“NEC further observed that the level of sleaze in our Universities will remain unchecked if Government does not take firm and decisive steps to nip it in bud. NEC, therefore, advises the Government to act decisively and concretely on the growing tide of corruption in our Ivory Towers.
“If Government is indeed convinced and determined to stem the tide of corruption in Nigeria, the University system must not be immune from its searchlight. If we are to bequeath our future generations an incorruptible legacy, then our Universities and Institutions of learning must be monitored closely,” the union stated.