By Chris Ojeikere

Our investigations into the protracted Ambrose Alli University strike action and Edo Government's decision to suspend academic union activities in State owned tertiary schools reveals a deliberately mismanaged industrial communication channel. There could be no other way to understand the witting distortion of the information narrative between Edo Government, Ambrose Alli University Management, and ASUU. Impeccable sources at our disposal confirm, that the government is not owing Ambrose Alli workers 17 months salaries as they mischievously use in whipping up public sentiments. The true perspective is that there is a certain deduction made from staff salaries, from source, by the School's Management. This is an agreement by both parties. And the beneficiaries of the deductions are STAFF! NOT GOVERNMENT, STAFF!
The deductions are paid directly into the various loans schemes and unions accounts, like: AAU Cooperative, ASUU Welfare etc.

Unfortunately, since the administration of Chief Lucky Igbinedion, through Comrade Oshiomole to date, there have been one form of infraction or another, on that account by the successive School's Management ; leading to a 17 months accumulation of arrears due the staff. In the mean time salaries have been going on. This deductions are called " check off dues". The only salaries yet to be paid, because they have shut down their income generating source of funding, which is the school, and have continued to get paid wrongly, I would say, for their unproductivity, are March to May salaries. So, government is saying, reopen the school, get fees from your indeterminate number of students, do your biometrics to weed out ghosts staff and get paid. Government has paid two months already and has promised to clear up everything remaining IN school and not OUT of school. I would think this is simple enough for anyone to understand.

When Governor Obaseki arrived the scene as Governor, he was willing to solve all this seemingly intractable financial troubles, once and for all. So, he had a discussion with them. The Governor wanted to know a few necessary information that would help government plan its strategy of redeeming the ailing economy of the institution, resulting obviously, from deplorable mismanagement. He wanted to know how many students AAU has, what is their fees outlook, for the various programmes like: degree, pre degree, post degree and many other executive and diploma and sundry programmes, which, by the way, all pay different categories of fees. He asked for accounting documents about this and other financial transactions, internal and external that the school is involved in. He wanted to know their IGR resources and returns outlook etc .All this, so that government can have a proper perspective of their income flow: in and out, to guide government in assisting them with a corresponding monthly subvention. As I write now, government is still waiting for answers. Those who are refusing to produce answers know why they are convoluting the system, and employing sentimental tactics to blackmail government into a blind dive of funding an institutional situation, that have run for years without governance systems, without financial documentations and without accountability to anyone, but themselves only. 

In Governor Obaseki frustration from resistance to simple organizational procedures and due process, that would provide clarity, he had to set up a special purpose instrument called the State Intervention Team (SIT) to look into the the true state of affairs at the School. No sooner had that team been appointed, than the same cabals in Ekpoma would swooped on it to quickly obliterate it from existence. But, a government should know when bad is enough. And Governor Obaseki has responded appropriately! Let every teacher go to class and return our university to a place of learning and character, and not a bolekaja arena.

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