A authorized luminary and founding father of Afe Babalola College, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), has described as unconstitutional, the mass closure of Nigerian universities by the federal authorities as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
Babalola stated such motion would become counterproductive and disastrous to the schooling sector, particularly closing down of personal colleges with out prior session.
Babalola spoke yesterday in Ado Ekiti at a press convention, espousing his views about try by the federal authorities to defer the resumption of universities earlier slated for January 18.
He was reacting to the assertion credited to the Minister of Training, Mallam Adamu Adamu, that the January 18 earlier set by the federal authorities for college resumption can be reviewed.
Expressing opposition to mass closure of universities, the authorized Icon stated: “I’m of the agency view that mass closure of faculties is unconstitutional, disastrous and counterproductive.
“It’s actually unjust to the mother and father, academics, college students and proprietors of faculties and in addition violates the rule of pure justice”, he acknowledged.
Babalola disclosed that america Centre for Illness Management and Prevention had put all these into consideration when it formally advisable that universities must be accorded preferential therapy underneath COVID-19 when it comes to operations.
“The USCDC stated universities are totally different when it comes to dimension, geographical location, construction and of their talents to out in place measure that can assure minimal danger to college students and academics of their colleges, which in flip will guarantee undistrupted and on-campus studying for college students.
“Quite the opposite, universities which don’t possess these amenities are inside high-risk class.
“I hereby strongly advise that the federal authorities ought to cease mass closure of faculties. All colleges, notably the non-public universities which have the required world-class well being amenities and have complied with Presidential Job Drive laws which is able to allow them to implement low medium danger measures ought not and shouldn’t be shut down.
“To close them down with these which don’t have such amenities is unjust and violates the instances of pure justice and due to this fact unconstitutional”.
He stated his eleven years outdated college has been having a clean and uninterrupted educational calendar earlier than abrupt disruption by COVID-19, thereby stalling operations and closure of the college despite the world-class amenities it parades to forestall the unfold of the deadly illness.
The authorized luminary added: “The FG ought to know that colleges in Ekiti are safer than that positioned within the coronary heart of Lagos. We should take into account the geographical location. Any employee right here who goes to Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt goes for particular take a look at and 7 days isolation. This underscores the extent of our preparedness”.
He urged the federal authorities to emulate international international locations by paying the salaries of lecturers within the non-public universities, which had been shut down due to COVID- 19.
Babalola reminded the FG that ought to the low-risk non-public universities stay shut down to attend for high-risk one will make the ivory towers stay in comatose for lengthy.
On whether or not he’ll strategy the courtroom to problem the closure of personal universities, Babalola stated: “I’m not going to courtroom, as a result of we’ve got not exhausted the choice of negotiation and native treatment. I’m a pal of the FG and I do know that the Legal professional Common of the Federation (AGF) will look into it”.
On how his college has been affected adversely, Babalola explains that; “We are able to’t even quantify our losses. We’ve been following worldwide customary, which was September to July educational session earlier than this international drawback.
“We’ve accomplished seven convocations in ten years. We used to pay salaries on the twenty fourth of the month and no one has been sacked regardless of this suspension of labor. However this has affected our purse. How can we be paying for providers not rendered? That is unfair.
“That’s the reason we’re calling on the federal authorities to pay the salaries of employees in non-public universities in the event that they nonetheless wish to proceed with this closure. That was the tactic adopted in international international locations”.