The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday kicked against the promotion of Ali Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, as a professor, describing it as illegal.
Last year, the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) had named the minister as a professor in cybersecurity during its council’s 186th meeting.
Pantami’s elevation has generated controversy, with many faulting FUTO on the promotion of the minister, who has never been on the teaching roll of the university and whose highest academic attainment was just a lecturer before he ventured into politics.
But addressing a press conference after its National Executive Council meeting, ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke said the Minister was not qualified for appointment as a professor.
The union also criticised the Federal Government for allowing the illegality to stand, calling for his removal and prosecution. “From the information made available to us, Dr Pantami was not qualified and he violated the established procedure for appointment of professor. We are surprised that the government still allowed him to stand,” he said.
“You cannot be a minister and a lecturer in a university. It is an encouragement of illegality. Pantami has to quit as a minister and be tried for doing double jobs within the same federal system. He is not qualified. Pantami should not be treated as a professor. We have resolved to sanction ASUU members involved in his promotion and the VC of FUTO.” The union also vowed to sanction its members involved in Pantami’s promotion including FUTO’s vice-chancellor.