Group kicks against multiple campuses for Ambrose Alli University



 A group, Edo-Okpa Unity Forum, has kicked against the plan by the Edo State Government to convert Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, to a multi-campus institution.

The forum in a statement signed by the Chairman of its Board of Trustees (BoT), Peters Evbota, and the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Omonua, described the policy as “ill-advised” and “a clandestine way to play politics with the people of Edo Central”.

The statement, a copy of which was made available to newsmen on Monday in Benin, said the decision came as a “huge surprise” to the people of Edo Central, where the institution is located.

Newsmen recalled that Governor Godwin Obaseki on February 18, at a town hall meeting on Edo education policy, announced the conversion of the state-owned university into three campuses.

While the main campus would be in Ekpoma, the two others would be located in Oredo Local Government Area and Owan Federal Constituency.

Reacting to the development, the forum said the institution had been grossly underfunded in recent times by the state government, a situation the government blamed on paucity of funds.

“Bearing this in mind, how does this same government now want to embark on a multi-campus development which will mean new structures, new recruitment of personnel and a whole lot of other financially involving tasks?

“What this goes to show is simple: AAU has been deliberately starved of funds over these years by the government due to these hidden political schemes to crumble the socio-economic power of Esanland.

“As it is today, Edo South has the great University of Benin, Edo North has Edo University and Edo Central has Ambrose Alli University.

“Can there be anything more balanced than what we currently have to warrant the balkanisation of AAU not minding the attendant effect on resources and academics,” the forum said in the statement.

The forum called on the state governor to rescind his decision on having multiple campuses for the university.

The forum urged the government to release “enough” funds to make the AAU stand out as the best state-owned university in Nigeria.

It said the government policy, if implemented, would weaken the current structure of the school, thereby making it sink deeper in performance and rating as a citadel of learning.

“Alternatively, the Governor can resort to, if he feels he has the required resources, establish new universities in the affected areas and leave AAU as a mono-campus system,” the group said

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