A stakeholder in Esanland, Chief Patrick Agbator (JP), has condemned what he called the attempt to balkanize the Ambrose Alli University(AAU), Ekpoma.
In a statement he signed he said he felt surprised by “the planned balkanization of Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma into a multi-campus institution by the Edo State Government.
“This was announced by Governor Godwin Obaseki while speaking at the Education Policy Town Hall Meeting convened by the Ministry of Education in Benin City, Edo State on February 18, 2022, noting that the university will comprise three campuses in Oredo, and Owan federal constituencies while Ekpoma remains the main campus.
“I condemn the attempt to bifurcate the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma into a multi-campus institution as a first step in a well latent and wider plan to close the university citing unrest and other attendant reasons for the action as concerned stakeholders and students are likely to protest the unpopular policy which is at best retrogressive.”
Going further, he stated: “The Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma has been lying postrate since the inception of the present administration in the state in November 2016 as the monthly subvention to the institution has been reduced drastically with the attendant negative multiplier effects on teaching, learning and research while salaries and other personal emoluments are now paid with discreation with the splitting of salaries of staff members, statutory deductions to professional unions and cooperative societies and other savings platforms of staff have been outrightly confiscated by the state government through the instruction’s authority.
“It is most unfortunate that the Edo State Governor has chosen to pay Esan people with the planned dismemberment of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma for the massive support Esan people gave him during the run up to the 2020 governorship election and for overwhelmingly voting him on the day of that election.
“I passionately appeal to the Governor to spare Edo State the needless expenditure that would be involved in the balkanization of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma into a multi-campus institution and channel the funds earmarked for the exercise into the university to provide needed equipment, pay staff outstanding salaries and personal emoluments, provide equipment for the accreditation of the faculty of medicine which has been withdrawn by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN for failure to provide the required equipment.
“I wish to call on all well meaning Esan sons and daughters, friends of Esanland and her people, Edo people and Nigerians to prevail on Governor Godwin Obaseki to rescind his plans to balkanize Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma and inject the needed funds into the institution to make it function ultimaly in accordance to the vision of the founder, the late Professor Ambrose Alli.”