Palpable tension now envelops Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, following the demands made by a faction of the Joint Action Committee of the non-academic staff of the institution that the Acting Provost, Dr. Dan Anyanwu, step down from his position.
According to a source close to the institution, the leader of the group,Dr Benjamin Nwokedi, made the demand in defiance of an earlier directive from the Minister of Education,Mallam Adamu Adamu on the procedure for the appointment of a substantive Provost.
The source hinted that the faction had gone ahead disrupting the on-going examination in the institution in her bid to force out the acting provost and to halt academic activities.
In a letter dated 9th February, 2018, with reference number SAF.36/5.465/VII/21 and signed by the Director of Tertiary Education, J.S. Ojo, had it that, “neither the Act establishing federal colleges of education nor the conditions of service for colleges of education exclude an acting provost or any interested and qualified candidate from aspiring for the office of the provost”.
The acting provost is never barred from contesting the substantive position going by the regulations as read in the Minister’s directive but would not attend any meeting of the Governing Council/joint selection Board where issues pertaining to appointment of substantive provost were being discussed.
You may recall that the Nwokedi-led JAC worked tirelessly for the removal of the immediate past provost, Prof. Blessing Ijioma, over allegations on tenure expiration.
The management of the educational institution in reaction to the threat by the factional JAC said that a union can only be justified embarking on strike for reasons of poor welfare.
Meanwhile, the Assistant Secretary of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, Comrade Dr. Johnson Ofoegbu, has denounced the call for strike as according to him, the demand is illegal and self serving.
The labour leader went on calling on the JAC to concentrate their enegies on staff welfare and never get entangled in the politics of who becomes the next provost of the federal institution.