The Governing Council of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, has waded into the lingering crisis that engulfed the university following agitations by some staff unions for the removal of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Adebiyi Daramola.
The Council has accordingly set up an investigative committee to examine the remote and immediate causes of the crisis that has grounded academic activities in the institution in the last eight weeks.
Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the FUTA Governing Council, Dr Mohammed Shata, briefed newsmen in Abuja on Friday on the outcome of the Council meeting held at the Board Room of the National Universities Commission (NUC) on best way to resolve the lingering crisis.
He said the Council noted with sadness the protracted crisis in the university, following the ongoing industrial action by the three non-teaching staff unions, namely, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologies (NAAT).
According to him, the unions were calling for the suspension of the Vice-Chancellor based on a report of Auditor-General; he said the Vice Chancellor has responded as requested.
He added noted that the staff unions also protested for suspension of the VC as he was under investigation by the officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the alleged report.
Shata, however, said the reply of the Auditor-General was being awaited for the Council to take further necessary action.
He said:”In the past eight weeks, efforts have been made by concerned individuals and groups to bring an end to the impasse that has caused immense loss and damage to the university as well as the disruption of the academic calendar and programmes.”
The terms of reference of the investigative committee was to examine the remote and immediate causes of the crisis, to recommendations to council on appropriate measures to resolve the crisis and to further recommend to Council actions to be taken to forestall such crisis in future.
The committee, which would have one member of the Council that would serve as the Chairman has six weeks within which to submit its report from the date of inauguration already slated for next week at the University campus.
Members of the committee include representative of the Council, Senate, Alumni, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), SSANU, NASU, NAAT, students union, Deputy Registrar Legal and the Deputy Registrar Council Affairs to serve as Secretary.
He said the Council was worried that utility services including electrify and water have been cut off for over a month by the protesting unions, which has led to the destruction and loss of samples and reagents worth millions of naira.
He noted that a few days ago, the leaders of the three unions involved in the protest and some other staff were suspended by the University management for insubordination.