NEDU MARK YENAGOA
Over 200 aggrieved women from the Otuoke Community in Bayelsa state have called on the Federal Government and the National Universities Commission ( NUC) to sack the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Otuoke, Professor Mobolaji Aluko.
The angry women, operating under the auspices of Otuoke Progressive Women Association, alleged that Prof. Aluko has marginalized the women of the state on the issue of key appointments at the university.
The women also threatened to embark on naked protest if nothing is done immediately to ensure that women are represented at the policy-making level of the university.
Otuoke community is the country home of the former President, Dr, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and is in Ogbia, Bayelsa state.
In a statement signed by the group’s Chairperson, Dora Aziba-alua and Public Relations Officer, Faith Amidum, the angry women described Aluko’s disposition to the appointment of Bayelsa women into management positions in the institution as oppressive.
The Otuoke women accused Prof Aluko of playing the ethnic card since his appointment as Vice Chancellor by ensuring that key offices in the university are occupied by males who are
They complained that he removed the only woman from the state who was acting Bursar of the institution and replaced her in controversial circumstances with another non-indigene.
They stressed that: “The Vice Chancellor has not been fair not only to women but to Bayelsa State.
“The Vice Chancellor is from Western Nigeria. The Registrar is from Kiagbodo, Delta State. The Director of Physical Planning and Development (DPPD), who is the VC’s godson, is from the West, and the only woman who was acting Bursar from Bayelsa has been replaced with another non-indigene.
“When the positions of Bursar, University Librarian and Director of Physical Planning and Development were advertised in February this year, Aluko only submitted applications for the Bursar and Librarian while he kept the applications for DPPD to protect his godson, Sani
Fajeminsin, from being interviewed by NUC and the Federal Ministry of Education.
“As a result, Sani is still in acting capacity as DPPD”, the women said.
They argued that his action is a violation of the Federal Character Act.
They claimed further that out of seven acting bursars who applied for the position of Bursar from the nine universities established alongside Federal University Otuoke, six retained their positions except the bursar in Otuoke.
The women, therefore, urged the Federal Government and the NUC to take urgent steps to address the anomaly and save the young university from the crisis of lopsided appointments.
Efforts to get the reaction of the Vice Chancellor proved abortive even as the Public Relations Officer of the university, Mercy Ekott, refused to pick her call as at press time.