The Academic Staff Union of Universities has accused President Umaru Yar?Adua of using the platform of convocation to ?insult the sensibility? of lecturers over alleged unwholesome practice.
In a telephone interview with our correspondent on Monday, ASUU President, Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie, dared the President to name lecturers caught in the web of corruption.
He warned government officials against using the platform provided for them with tax payers? money to insult lecturers.
The Chairman, Ilorin Zone of ASUU, Prof. Eddy Olanipekun, who made similar call in a separate telephone interview with our correspondent, said the lecturers were not amused at the sweeping generalisation.
The ASUU officials criticised the President for failing to reconstitute the governing councils of the universities, almost two years after they were dissolved.
With the governing councils in place, the dons said that it would be easier to refer cases of errant lecturers to them for disciplinary action.
The President, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. Goke Adegoroye, at the convocation ceremony of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, last week, had lashed out at lecturers for alleged corrupt practices.
In his speech during the ceremony, Yar?Adua said that lecturers demanded between N250,000 and N500,000 from students to compromise standards.
Olanipekun said that up till now, no case of corruption or immoral act was reported to the Ethics and Grievances committee of the union, which has the mandate to punish those found culpable.
Given the preponderance of security and anti-graft agencies in the country, Awuzie said government should have made scapegoats of some of the said offenders if it was not acting on rumour and speculations.
He, however, said that his position did not suggest that there were no few bad eggs in the system, which he said, was not unexpected in a large assembly of people.
He argued that it would be out of place to declare the government of the country illegal in spite of the reality that majority of the political office holders were ruling on ?stolen mandates through rigged election.?
On Yar?Adua?s concern over the decaying facilities in tertiary institutions, Awuzie accused the President of insincerity going by the paltry amount appropriated to education in next year?s budget proposals.
He said, ?It is becoming a pattern rather than exception that government uses the platform of convocation to insult the sensibility of university lecturers.
?There may be few bad eggs, but does that mean that we all go about collecting money? The PS and Yar?Adua that sent him cannot be complaining about the quality of graduates because of the declining standard of education.
?How much did he vote for education in this year?s and next year?s budget? We have an insincere government that is playing to the gallery instead of sitting down to address serious problems facing the country.
?How many of the people that are qualified to be in school from primary to tertiary levels, have access to education? He (Yar?Adua) thinks he can realise his seven-point agenda without education.
?Those at the helm of affairs who create the problem through their policies and programmes should not use the platform provided for them with tax payers? money to insult us.?