The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi branch has faulted the appointment of Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, as a professor of cyber security by the Governing Council and the management of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO).
It maintained it was not convinced that due processes were followed in the appointment.
The Nation reports that controversy had trailed the recent appointment of the Minister as a professor by FUTO.
The Vice-Chancellor of ATBU, Prof. Mohammad Abdulaziz, in a letter written on behalf of management, staff, and students of the institution, congratulated Pantami over his appointment but ASUU disassociated itself from the congratulatory letter.
ATBU is Pantami’s alma mater where he started his career as a lecturer.
Addressing journalists at the Secretariat in Bauchi, the capital on Thursday, Bauchi ASUU chairman, Dr. Ibrahim Inuwa, said: “Appointing somebody to the rank of professor follows some procedures, to some extent we are convinced that these procedures are exhaustively followed but it is still questionable. But if it is proven beyond reasonable doubt we don’t have an option other than to acknowledge it but for now, we are really not convinced.
“We had congress on November 4th, and we agreed that we should dissociate ourselves from that congratulatory message written by the VC. We have a disclaimer to that effect.”
Inuwa claimed that the VC did not consult the union before going ahead to congratulate the Minister on its behalf in “an appointment that is shrouded in a lot of controversies.”
He also faulted the report by the union in FUTO, which cleared the Governing Council and the management of the varsity of any infractions saying the report contained “a lot of holes.”
ASUU argued that according to information available at its disposal, the Minister left Nigeria for Saudi Arabia as a senior lecturer.
“In the case of the Minister, his last appointment in a university, Saudi Arabia was as an assistant professor –is a nomenclature that is used by the Americans. Assistant professor is equivalent to a senior lecturer in Commonwealth countries,” he stressed.
Inuwa said an Assistant Professor must satisfy a waiting period of three years, graduate postgraduate students, involved in university administration and must have been involved in community service to become a Professor.
He argued that the Minister was not in the academic environment within the period and could not have been qualified for the appointment.