WHERE IT ALL STARTED.
At a point, the federal government of Nigeria had to initiate a palliative to rescue all universities in Nigeria from the burden of clearing the backlog of earned allowances and other sundry allowances ranging from researches and what have you. It will be recalled that this issue was one of the major concerns that had pushed ASUU to embark on serial strike actions that almost sent our universities into comatose. From the report I got, BSU was alleged to have received N3.5b in respect to this. During this time, it was the Former VC Prof Mrs Angya who was at the helm of affairs.
During this same time too, the chairman of BSU council was Prof Ode Ojowu. From the report, it is said that the council alongside the University management denied receiving the money. They were always telling the BSU community that the money had not arrived yet. The report showed that the council sat on the said amount and shared it amongst them. The former governor too was alleged to have received about 80million of it through a former Registrar when he discovered the money had arrived.
The former governor was not aware the money had arrived until his share was sent to him through the former registrar of the school. At this juncture, the former governor had to quiz the former VC and his bargain was increased from whatever was sent to him to about N80m. He had to play along to the detriment of the common BSU worker who were still hoodwinked into believing that the money was yet to be released.
HOW THE BSU COMMUNITY GOT TO KNOW OF THE RELEASE OF THE SAID FUNDS.
A current director at the Central Bank of Nigeria Abuja, formerly Director of Centre for Entrepreneurship in BSU discovered huge sums of money lodged in a Stambic Bank account belonging to BSU.
As a Benue man and a Banker, he inquired and discovered it was Part of the said money that the federal government had released for BSU to clear the outstanding earned allowances that the University was still insisting it had not arrived. He then tipped some lecturers, one of them a current BSIEC chairman now and they went on strike demanding to be paid. It was at this point that Suswam discovered the whole story but he is alleged to have compromised and the strike loomed on.
The story also has it that the former Acting Provost of College of Health Sciences was given the share of the money but instead, he refused to convert it to his personal use. Rather, he lodged it and handed it over to the substantive provost Prof Adibisi Simeon with strict instructions to pay his workers on demand or face him. As I speak with you, it is on record that half of the arrears of the College of Health Sciences were paid while the other BSU workers have not received a dime of this arrears spanning from 2009 to July 2015, amounting to 72months equalling 6years.
The frustration of workers continued as the council was still insistence that the money had not finally arrived until his late days in the office when the quest to hunt for her successor heightened. It is said that Prof Nicholas Ada became interested in the position and in one of his consultations, he was accused of partaking in the said funds. He quickly ran to the VC and demanded to be allowed to pay back his share but the VC turned him down saying they did it together and will sink together. However, Prof Ada went ahead and paid the share he had collected to the university’s account and took the teller to governor Samuel Ortom who at this point was just beginning to be aware of the issue. It was prof Ada that made Ortom to believe that money was shared and part of it was still with the college of Health sciences. Ortom had to quiz Prof Adibisi who later paid half of the arrears to his staff.
In his attempt to compel the VC to return all the shared funds, Ortom is said to have reported the husband of Mrs Angya who was the acting DG of Standard Organisation of Nigeria SON to Buhari. Buhari is said to have asked Paul Angya to compel his wife return the funds or risk being confirmed. It will be recalled that many who were in acting capacity with him were confirmed leaving him alone and he was subsequently ignored by Buhari which confirms the fact that he missed out on becoming a substantive DG on account of that singular reason.
PROF MSUGH KEMBE AND THE UNIVERSITY.
During this investigation, i discovered that the current VC was a member of the committee that was set up by the former VC to run a check on how many universities in the country that received the money and paid accordingly. According to the report, 80% of the universities in the nation received and paid the money, hence the recommendation of the committee danced along that line.
The University is amazed that Msugh Kembe who is their own and was part of that committee which recommended that their allowances be paid immediately could develop such silence on the case. The University believes he has the power to compel the former VC to bring back the funds so that they will be paid. What they wanted to see was a deliberate effort from the VC towards recovery of the funds and payment of their allowances and not this utmost silence they have seen now.
THE UNIVERSITY AND ORTOM.
The university is proud of the current administration that has shown that the students enjoy uninterrupted academic activities. The university is however worried that having been fully abreast of the issue, he as the visitor to the university was supposed to have done more than just reporting Mrs Angya and the husband to Buhari. And that he had agreed to pay them these allowances, even if he cannot get the said money from Mrs Angya, he should get it from any other source and pay them before the strike will be called off.