The Chairman, Joint Union of Plateau State-owned Tertiary Institutions, JUPTI, Victor Dawurung, has said the union would not accept the intending merger of the state-owned University with the Plateau State College of Arts, Science Technology, CAST.
The union leader in a press conference in Jos, on Tuesday, said the Plateau State government had concluded plans to merge the Plateau State University, Bokkos with CAST.
According to the union, the state government had sent a bill to the state Assembly to repeal the law establishing the institutions, to pave way for the merger.
The union noted with concern that “the laws establishing the Plateau State College of Arts, Science Technology and the Plateau State University, Bokkos are two separate laws passed in 2000 and the year 2006 respectively.”
“We therefore reject the merger based on the observations that have been raised above and we are calling on all Plateau people to lend their voices to this unwholesome practice that may undermine educational growth on the Plateau,” he said.
The union insisted that “the separate nature of the laws establishing these institutions does not give room for any section or sub-sections to be included as an additional to the new bill. Section 28 which seek to repeal the law establishing the CAST Kurgwi is tantamount to wrong legislation.”
“The new bill has not undergone the due process of legislation where a public hearing will be conducted to get input from stakeholders and members of the public,” it said.
On the pending entitlements of members of the union, a demand which degenerated into a state-wide strike by the members in 2012 and early 2013, JUPTI said the state government seemed to have ignored the plight of the union.
Mr. Dawurung said the entitlements were still pending since May 2013 when the union suspended it strike.
“It is over one year now and we have not witness any development on our demand. We feel short-changed and undermined. (The government’s) prolonged silence is a demonstration of its lack of commitment and an engagement in political chicanery. We are appealing to the Plateau state government not to play politics with education but to respect the agreement reached with us.”