Enugu varsity sacks 153 lecturers
AN air of discontent yesterday enveloped the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), following the sack of 153 lecturers from the school.
Although no official reason was given for the disengagement, it was learnt that the dramatic dismissal, which also affected a professor and a Reader, cut across various departments in the university.
The School’s Director for Public Affairs, Ossy Ugwuoti, when contacted declined to comment on the matter, stressing that he needed clearance from his principals on the matter for further details.
he sack letter dated October 23, 2015, signed by the University Registrar, Leonard Khama, and made available to reporters in Enugu, the Registrar stated: “I am directed to inform you and you are hereby informed that the University is presently not positioned to employ you. You should, therefore, handover any university property in your possession to the Head of Department. If, however, your services are required in the future by the University, you will be informed accordingly.”
Investigation by The Guardian showed that the 153 sacked lecturers were recruited in February this year at the twilight of the immediate past administration of Professor Cyprian Onyeji as Vice Chancellor. From the date of their employment dated February 27 till their disengagement on October 23, none of the 153 affected staff received pay.
The administration was said to have embarked on the recruitment based on the approval of the state government.
Another source however said that their appointment then was to basically enable the school make up for the acute shortfall of staff that had consistently denied it accreditation by the NUC, adding that, having used them to obtain accreditation; they were shown the way out.
Briefing newsmen in Enugu on their plight yesterday, the affected staff, said it was injustice meted out on them as they were not paid since they were employed in February this year.
“In- spite of the huge debts we have incurred in the process of living up to our responsibilities and keeping our jobs, no salary was paid to any of us.
“Our employment was as a result of acute shortage of staff that consistently denied ESUT Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC) accreditation on different occasions. The fruit of our employment have been felt in the vacuum we filled in classes and other academic exercises but most evidently we were used to secure full NUC accreditation for many departments in the university”, their leader, Ogom Inyam stated.
The ex-staff, who spoke under the auspices of “Disengaged Members of Staff of ESUT,” further noted: “Since our employment, we have discharged our academic duties diligently, which included lecturing, invigilating during examinations, marking of quiz and examinations scripts, and preparation of results, as well as taking active part in June 2015 accreditation exercise.”
Asked if they had not made their grievances known to the State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the former staff of ESUT said they had written him on the matter but no response came from him, adding that they still appealed to him (Governor Ugwuanyi) and all concerned groups and authorities for intervention on the matter.