Coalition of trade unions in the upgraded four federal universities of education have said that the presidential directive to put on hold any action to revert the institutions to their former status of colleges constrained them from attending the recent meeting of National Commission for Colleges of Education, NCCE, in Abuja.
In a statement made available to Nigerian Pilot in Abuja, the unions added that the safety and security of their members made them to be absent at the meeting, which agenda they stated was not known to them.
This, according to leaders of the unions in the affected institutions in Kano, Zaria, Owerri and Ondo, has become necessary in order to respect the views of critical stakeholders in the institutions after their meeting held on September 1 in Abuja.
The statement, signed by chairmen of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU; Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU; National Academic Staff Union, NASU, and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, said the meeting which appraised the situation unanimously resolved that:
“Based on the letter Ref: FME/TE/CU/431/1/34 and dated 19th August, 2015, that stated in part the university of education be ‘put on hold’ and are therefore, constrained not to be in attendance at the scheduled meeting of National Commission for Colleges of Education, NCCE, September 1st, 2015.
“…concern for the safety and security of our members whom we represent, coupled with the absence of the mandate of the said members to attend the meeting whose agenda though unknown, but which we fear might be injurious to our members in this circumstance.
“…presumably, the issues are largely on the ‘universities’ cum ‘colleges’ transition that is already awaiting presidential directive. Stakeholders, therefore, cautioned on the need to put all matters bothering on this on hold, pending the outcome of the memo before the presidency.”
It would be recalled that the unions had recently kicked against alleged plan by the federal government to demote the institutions and called for immediate withdrawal of the letter of reversal to status quo, purportedly written by the acting Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs. Hindatu U. Abdullahi.
Chairman of the joint trade unions, Dr. Abubakar Sadiq Haruna said at a press briefing in Abuja that the controversial letter dated August 19, directing former provosts of the universities to revert the institutions to their former status of colleges, was causing confusion on campuses and called for the urgent intervention of President Buhari on the matter.
The four institutions, Federal College of Education, Zaria; Federal College of Education, Kano; Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, and Alvan Ikoku Fedral College of Education, Owerri, were upgraded to federal universities of education by the former President Goodluck Jonathan-led federal government.

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