15 University of Uyo indigent students who excelled in their academic endeavors received approximately N1.7 million from the Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Uyo Branch.
Additionally, it awarded the Heroes’ Award to former leaders who guided the union through difficult times in the branch’s history.
The Heroes’ Day Celebration, which took place on Monday at the institution, honored the recipients.
Prof. Emmanuel Osadeke, the union’s national president, encouraged the honorees to stick with the program and praised them for their unwavering commitment and unselfish devotion to the union in spite of obstacles.
The ASUU president urged past and present leaders of the union to rise against the alleged injustice by
vice chancellors who have turned staff employment into their ‘constituency projects’ by employing all manners of people without due process.
He noted that no university in the country has advertised for vacancies in the past six to 10 years but that staff strength have tripled in such universities, adding that those appointed have nothing to do in the academic world .
“I must heartily congratulate all the heroes honoured today for the sacrifices they made to the point of termination of appointments, seizure of salaries, demotion among other travails for speaking truth to powers for the benefit of others.
“Before now, university employment was done through advertisement followed by rigorous interviews but now how do people get here? It is through temporary appointments. That’s the problem that we have today. I do not know of any university for the past six to 10 years that has advertised, but the staff strength has tripled.
“Vice-Chancellors just sat down somewhere and packed people from traditional rulers, governors, and all other politicians into the Nigerian universities as lecturers and most of them are now scavengers in the system, going after money and all manners of things.
“Unfortunately, university employment has turned into a constituency project and we have to struggle to reverse this misnomer and bring sanity to the system,” he said.
During a keynote speech, retired professor of ethnocommunication Desmond Wilson bemoaned the difficulties fifth columnists and other government agents hired to sow discord have caused in the union’s struggles.
The professor asked all union members to continue being selfless and dedicated in the struggle for the improvement of everyone and the rescue of Nigerian Universities from their predicaments, emphasizing that heroism was not a pass pass for misconduct.
ASUU’s unselfish devotion to humanity was praised by the university’s vice chancellor, professor Nyaudoh Ndaeyo, who was represented by professor Ben Etuk.
He noted that the role played by the union has contributed immensely to the better welfare among the University staff.
Responding, one of the student beneficiaries of the ASUU-UUB scholarship award, Ekpo Friday, from the Faculty of Education commended the union for bringing succour to the indigent students of the institution, adding that the gesture was a morale booster for them to concentrate on their studies to finish their University Education with good grades.
The acting Chairperson, Prof Opeyemi Olajide, noted that the gesture was to help push the students who were also noted to be brilliant in their respective faculties to finish their course of study
Those honoured for their selfless service include, Dr Etop Ndiyo; Prof Desmond Wilson; Prof Edet Akpan and Prof Joseph Ushie.
Others include Prof Aniesua Essiet and Prof Ashong Ashong.