…urges stakeholders’ support to cleanse, reposition state-owned varsity
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the government, in partnership with security agencies is currently investigating the alleged cases of fraud and other criminal activities at the state-owned Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, reassuring that anyone found culpable will be duly arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the law.
Obaseki said this when he received the executive members of AAU Alumni Association Worldwide, who were on a courtesy visit at the Government House, Benin City.
Commending the leadership of the alumni association for their support to the government in repositioning the institution to meet global standards, Obaseki noted that Edo has become “a proxy for Nigeria globally when you talk of accelerated countries and people redefining their educational system.”
According to him, “We are transforming the junior school system, disarticulating it from the secondary school system, and can't allow AAU to remain without developing and growing. We call on you to join us to save this University and ensure we maintain the standard in terms of infrastructure and learning, among others. We must not allow some persons to kill our institution because it belongs to Edo people.”
He noted, “I heard some people still call themselves union going around and addressing the press. We have said everybody who has been involved in any criminal conduct in AAU is currently under investigation. We will arrest and prosecute. You can't go and harass other people’s children and sell transcripts as these are criminal activities and in the name of unionism, we allow them to go.
“No way, it’s one fight we will fight till the end. It is either they win and take the University or Edo people win and take back their University. It's time to take politics out of the school and reposition it for the betterment of our people.”
The governor further stated, “For close to two decades, some group of persons has held the University hostage as several administrations have tried to rescue the University but failed. My predecessor tried and failed too and went to establish another State University.
“We decided not to shut it down but rather get a team to do a surgical operation and look at all issues to ensure the school’s development. From their findings, we can't run a successful university like that. The school is enmeshed in politics and the school can't be run like that.”
Obaseki added, “We have the will as a government to correct the anomaly, and with the support of associations like yours, nobody can stand in our way.”
On his part, the head of the AAU Special Intervention Team (SIT), Mr. Andrew Olotu, said staff of the state-owned tertiary institution have been engaged in a lot of illegal activities, including selling of examination question papers, harassment of female students, turning transcript and certificate collection into big business, among others.
Also, the President of the AAU alumni association, Dr. Clifford Omozeghian thanked the governor and the SIT for their efforts in repositioning the institution, pledging to collaborate with the government and other relevant authorities to take AAU to greater heights.