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Buhari Under Pressure As ASUU Rejects Downgrade of 4 Universities to COEs

President Buhari

Universities workers’ unions and other stakeholders have turned to President Muhammadu Buhari over alleged plans by the Federal Government to downgrade four universities to college of education status.

Universities workers’ unions and other stakeholders have turned to President Muhammadu Buhari over alleged plans by the Federal Government to downgrade four universities to college of education status.

According to rumors, the universities; Adeyemi Federal University of Education, Ondo, Ondo State; Alvan Ikoku University of Education, Owerri, Imo State; Federal College of Education, Zaria; and the Federal University of Education, Kano, are all penciled down for downgrade, a move which the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) have rejected.

Agitations began last week when the news broke that the universities, which were originally colleges of education upgraded by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, would be downgraded.

Though there is no official communication from the government confirming or denying the move, stakeholders in the affected institutions are certain that the Buhari administration is set to downgrade the universities as it restructures the education sector.

Speaking, the Chairman of the Adeyemi Federal University of Education Joint Non-Teaching Staff Action Committee Chairman, Femi Lademikan, said there is no reason to downgrade the universities.

President Buhari

“We want our university to remain,” Lademikan said.

“We are appealing to the government through this peaceful demonstration that what we want is our university status.

“We want to tell President Buhari that we have everything required to make this institution a university.

“We have the people, resources and everything to take to maintain this school.

“We have the structure and the enabling environment, just as we are peaceful and cooperative.”

He called on Buhari to reject the plan.

“Mr. President must not listen to people who don’t love him, sycophants and those enemies of progress.”

Similarly, the Chairman of the Federal University of Education, Kano, chapter of ASUU, Dr. Abubakar Haruna, alleged sabotage.

“We feel that the President must have been misinformed on the objectives for which the colleges were upgraded. The damage this decision would do to host communities is better imagined.

“The plot to revert this development, in our opinion, is unpatriotic, counter-productive, obnoxious and retrogressive.”

With no official communication on the matter, it is hard to know what moves the President is likely to make.

However, any move the FG makes would be expected to take students into consideration because some of them enrolled in these institutions because they are universities.

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