A former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, on Friday advised the vice-chancellors of the country’s universities to stop their wives from travelling to Istanbul, Turkey, for a five-day conference in the Middle East nation.
In a letter forwarded to the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, the former minister also urged the vice-chancellors to immediately dissolve the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities Spouses.
He stressed that it was unhealthy for the vice-chancellors’ wives to travel to Turkey for an unnecessary and wasteful project during the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The programme, according to the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigeria, will take place in Istanbul from July 18 to 23.
However, Adeniran insisted that the existence of the committee of vice-chancellors’ wives was harmful to Nigeria’s education industry.
The letter read: “I came across a forthcoming program of the CVCNUS as advertised on social media and I felt I should convey my opinion on it to you as a colleague and a very concerned citizen. I see it as an unnecessary fad springing from Nigeria’s culture of absurdities.
“I am bewildered that some people could gather under the umbrella of ‘Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities Spouses’ reminiscent of the sickening military tradition of wives of officers and with utter insensitivity to the situation in the country to organise a conference whose objective is suspect.
“There is no provision in the law establishing Nigerian universities for the association of Vice Chancellors’ spouses. If some people have forgotten the essence of a University, I am sure we are aware that the Academic Staff Union of Universities is currently on strike and that negotiation with the government has stalled. Our children are at home with no assurance that the universities will soon be open for academic activities.
“It is also worth noting that the other trade unions within the universities and other tertiary institutions are poised to commence industrial action.
“I am aware that the long military rule in Nigeria had left a hangover of undemocratic traditions hence we now have some Vice-Chancellors behaving as military governors and the office has become heavily politicised. Certainly, if this association is allowed to stand, the nation must brace up for the sprouting of all manners of spouses’ associations that will feed fat on our lean resources.”
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