14 February 2013

Nigeria: Union Decries Non-Constitution of COE Governing Boards

The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has condemned the non-constitution of governing councils for colleges of education across the country over a year since their dissolution.

A communiqué jointly signed by the union's President, Mohammed Awwal Ibrahim, and Secretary Emmanuel, Nkoro Asagha, said the situation does not augur well for the effective administration of the institutions across the country.

It called on the ministry of education to expedite the reconstitution of the boards, however cautioned against using the boards for political patronage, adding that only qualified individuals should be considered.

"For the avoidance of doubt, the congress is poised to resist the imposition of anyone without the requisite experience and qualification highlighted in our position, as governing councils appointments should not be viewed as a window of opportunity for political settlement," it said.

The union said it was worried by the "consistent psychological trauma and subjugation of our members at the Federal College of Education (Technical) Omoku, Rivers State, due to the incessant kidnapping of members of staff of the college."

It also condemned the "killings" at FCE (T) Gombe, petitioning President Goodluck Jonathan and the Inspector-General of Police to ensure that safety of property and lives is restored, stressing that it was planning solidarity action with the schools affected.

"Worried by the consistent psychological trauma and subjugation of our members at the FCE(T) Omoku, due to the incessant kidnapping of members of staff of the College, Congress resolved to immediately petition the President and Inspector General of Police, giving a 3-days ultimatum that is geared towards a non-conventional national industrial or civil protest.

"Other national industrial schemes are already being planned in solidarity with our colleagues at Omoku and other college institutions that are bedevilled with such social misdemeanours. We urge the Federal government to do all within the ambits of its human and material resources to protect our people so as to encourage them put in their best towards national transformation," the union stated.

It further called for the immediate review of terms of the Personal Income Tax (Amendment) Act 2011 which it said was signed into law without considering the interest of the payer.

"For a 'democracy' the procedure of passage was non-exhaustive, anti-people and selective. We call on Governments at all levels to review the process as a check for the disenchantments, with its inherent negative implications, building up across the nation," it added.

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