UNIPORT Don Claims His Unlawful Suspension From Work Has Affected Him Psychologically
A don in the University of Portharcourt has cried out on his suspension by the management of the institution.
Professor Andrew Efemini, a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, claimed that the management of the institution was not fair to him because he did not deserve to be suspended.
Quoting him, he said, “I want Nigerians to know that I am now a destitute, and suffering from health challenges caused by my unlawful suspension from UNIPORT that has now lingered for five months.”
The university don revealed today that his three months statutory suspension has entered the fifth month and he has not received salary for the past five months.
According to him, the university management accused him of given instructions to students to carry out a protest in the institution.
Efemini said the suspension has affected his mental ability to the point that he has contemplated killing himself.
In the words of the professor,“I have informed the university in writing that as a diabetic and hypertensive patient that my life is threatened by the cut of my salary over my alleged incitement of students.”
The students were said to have disrupted activities in the school when they became aware of a policy which made payment of tuition fees criteria for sitting for an examination.
“My health condition has further deteriorated as I cannot afford to buy drugs to attend to my health. I now live at the mercy of friends and well-wishers.”
“I have contemplated suicide severally with a suicide message for the Nigerian people on how a Professor or anybody at that should not be treated.”
The professor said he was accused wrongly and he was not given an opportunity to defend himself before the institution took action on the incident.
He further claimed that he has informed the institution on several occasions to call off his suspension as he needs to get back to work in other to be able to afford the purchase of drugs he needs as his salary has not been paid for five months.
Quoting him, “The issue is that we needed the university to dialogue and find a compromise with students rather than sweeping the matter under the carpet.”
“I have written letters and have been appealing to them for five months now to recall me; as I no longer have money to attend to my deteriorating health.”
Commenting on the incident, Dr Williams Wodi, UNIPORT’s Deputy Registrar, Information, revealed that the issue cannot be addressed now as some staff of the institution are on strike.
He further disclosed that some other staff of the university were also suspended.
In his words, “I agree with him completely that suspension by statutory definition would last for three months but what has happened is that non- teaching staff withdrew their services.”
“So, we are not able to hold statutory university meetings, including Senate meetings; inaugural lectures and convocation while matriculation has been cancelled.”
“Prof. Efemini is not the only person suspended. There are two other professors in that category. So, he couldn’t claim that he was victimised because the university is under lock and key.”
It should be recalled that Nigerianewsng.com had earlier reported that the Non-Academic Staff Union of the federal universities is currently undergoing a national strike, which has affected major activities in those institutions.