A diplomat, politician and former Minister of Education, Prof Tunde Adeniran, has asked Vice Chancellors to disband the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities Spouses.
He also warned the VCs to stop their wives from embarking on a trip to Istanbul, Turkey for a five-day conference amid the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities since February 14, 2022.
PUNCH reports that Adeniran gave the warning in a letter made available to the Newspaper on Friday.
According to reports, wives of VCs are set to travel to Istanbul, Turkey for a five-day conference amid the ongoing ASUU strike.
A letter by the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, revealed that the programme is scheduled to hold from 18 to 23 July 2022, in Istanbul.
The letter was dated May 5, 2022, and signed by the Committee’s Secretary-General, Yakubu Ochefu.
But Adeniran explained that the existence of the group is injurious to the education sector of Nigeria.
He said, “I came across a forthcoming program of the CVCNUS as advertised on the social media and I felt I should convey my opinion on it to you as a colleague and a very concerned citizen. I see it as an unnecessary fad springing from Nigeria’s culture of absurdities.
“It is certainly within the constitutional rights of Nigerians to associate to pursue common interests. It is however expected that the freedom is exercised with all sense of responsibility and sensibilities.
“I am bewildered that some people could gather under the umbrella of “Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities Spouses” reminiscent of the sickening military tradition of wives of officers and with utter insensitivity to the situation in the country to organise a conference whose objective is suspect.
“There is no provision in the law the laws establishing Nigerian universities for the association of Vice Chancellors’ spouses. The association appears ill-conceived and may inadvertently contribute to depleting the resources of the universities that are presently grossly inadequate. With this infatuation, it is logical to expect, very soon, the Association of Spouses of Provosts, Deans and Heads of Departments.
“If some people have forgotten the essence of a University, I am sure we are aware that the Academic Staff Union of Universities are currently on strike and that negotiation with the government has stalled. Our children are at home with no assurance that the universities will soon be opened for academic activities.
“It is also worth noting that the other trade unions within the universities and other tertiary institutions are poised to commence industrial action. Given this situation, where is the sense in anybody organising a conference for spouses with the attendant costs that would invariably be borne by the universities?
“I am aware that the long military rule in Nigeria had left a hangover of undemocratic traditions hence we now have some Vice-Chancellors behaving as military governors and the office has become heavily politicised. Certainly, if this association is allowed to stand, the nation must brace up for the sprouting of all manners of spouses’ associations that will feed fat on our lean resources.
“In my considered view, the Committee of Vice—Chancellors has been doing its best to add value to the administration of Nigeria’s University system. I am sure they can only get better under your able leadership. However, the association of their spouses has no value to add and no reason for existence. If anything, it would lower the high esteem in which the Nigerian public holds the Committee of Vice-chancellors.”
(Adapted from a report by PUNCH)