The committee report of FUTO, the Federal University of Technology, Owerri which justified the professorial appointment of Nigeria’s minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Ibrahim, popularly known as Pantami, has been rejected by ASUU, the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
The president of the ASUU, Emmanuel Osodeke, a professor, while addressing journalists in Abuja on Monday at the end of its two-day meeting of the National Executive Council, said ”there are many unanswered questions on Mr Ibrahim’s professorship.’
Professor Osedeke urged the public to be patient, until another panel which ASUU set up conducts its findings and arrives at a conclusion, on the matter.
He said; “ASUU NEC members, like many other concerned Nigerians, did not accept the report of the ASUU FUTO congress. There are serious doubts and unanswered questions bordering on the qualification of Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) for the position. The FUTO Branch Committee’s report failed to justify Dr. Isah Ali Ibrahim’s (Pantami’s) appointment to professor on the bases of requisite experience, professional suitability and antecedents at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (ATBU).”
ASUU called on the management of Nigerian universities and other academic institutions to join in its efforts to safeguard what it called the waning image of Nigeria’s university system, saying the vice-chancellors “have no business trading honorary degrees and academic positions for personal and immediate gains.”
ASUU said doing so will continue to smear “the collective integrity of committed scholars and other patriots who are working day and night to uplift the system that produced them.”
ASUU observed that even as the congress of its FUTO branch had endorsed the appointment of Mr Ibrahim as a professor, the secretary of the committee the FUTO branch set up had made a u-turn to reject the verdict, giving a dissenting report.
In September, Mr Ibrahim was among seven academics who were elevated by the council of FUTO to the position of professorship at the council’s 186th meeting.
FUTO, in a statement listed others to include Lawrence Ettu as a professor of civil engineering; Godfrey Emeghara as a professor of maritime management technology; Okechukwu Onyelucheya as a professor of chemical engineering; Alex Opara and Chikwendu Okereke as professors of geology, and Conrad Enenebeaku as a professor of chemistry. The university said they were all associate professors, also called readers, before their elevation.