The over five-month-old Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike in the South-east universities has claimed its first casualty in the person of the Acting Vice Chancellor of Anambra State University (ANSU), Prof. Chukwunenye Anene.
Prof. Anene was removed from office yesterday by the state Governor,Mr. Peter Obi who in his stead appointed Prof. Fidelis Okafor as the new acting vice chancellor.Prof Okafor whose appointment was announced through a radio/television broadcast by the governor was until yesterday the provost of the state owned Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe.Obi explained that the change was necessary in the government’s determination to restore normal academic activities in the university having earlier reconstituted Governing Council of the University on December 15, 2010.He said: “To ensure that the new governing council effectively carries out its functions, there is need to change the leadership of the university. I have therefore appointed a new acting vice chancellor in the person of Prof. Fidelis Okafor with the charge to work together with the university council to see that normal academic and other necessary activities five-month-old strike embarked upon by the lecturers of South-east universities, it has become necessary that I make this address to Ndi Anambra.“Since 2008, when I presented the first budget of our government based on our adopted vision of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the year 2015 (being delivered through our Strategy -Anambra Integrated Development Strategy, ANIDS-, we have been striving to develop allsectors simultaneously. Oursectors simultaneously. Our achievements in this regard are eloquent testimony that we are succeeding.“One of the sectors to which we have paid the greatest attention is education.
We have done so much to improve all tiers of this sector in the state. The evidence is there for all to see.“While striving within the resources available to us to reposition our state university, the academic and non-academic unions of the university embarked on strike on the July 22,2010.”The lecturers are insisting on salary parity with their counterparts in federal universities. They hinged their demands on the agreement reached by ASUUand the Federal Government in 2009, even when a clause in the agreement made it abundantly clear that the agreement was between ASUU and lecturers in federal universities only.“The governing council of the Anambra State University, based on available resources, has available resources, has increased the salaries of the lecturers substantially as per their agreement.“From the foregoing and thedetermination that normal academic activities be restored in the university, government on December 15, 2010 reconstituted the governing council of the university.