Founding father of Afe Babalola College, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, SAN has stated the continual closure of universities within the nation on account of the COVID-19 pandemic was unconstitutional and could be counter-productive.
He was reacting to the assertion credited to the Minister of Schooling, Mallam Adamu Adamu, that the January 18 earlier set by the federal authorities for college resumption could be reviewed.
The frontline lawyer stated such motion could be so disastrous to the training sector and the way forward for many college students within the nation.
Babalola who spoke whereas addressing newsmen in ABUAD on Wednesday frowns on the try by the federal authorities to defer the resumption of universities earlier slated for January 18, describing it as a choice focused primarily on the personal establishments.
Expressing opposition to mass closure of universities, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria famous that the Presidential Activity Drive (PTF) on Covid-19 should chorus from given blanket order, saying there was no due session with the proprietors of personal universities.
“I’m of the agency view that mass closure of colleges is unconstitutional, disastrous and counterproductive.
“It’s actually unjust to the mother and father, academics, college students and Proprietors of colleges and in addition violates the rule of pure justice.
“At this time, there are lots of personal universities which have these amenities and subsequently safer than most workplaces and even private properties,” he stated.
Babalola disclosed that the USA Centre for Illness Management and Prevention had put all these into consideration when it formally advisable that universities ought to be accorded preferential therapy underneath Covid-19 when it comes to operations.
In line with him, “The USCDC stated universities are completely different when it comes to dimension, geographical location, construction and of their skills to place in place measure that may assure minimal threat to college students and academics of their faculties, which in flip will guarantee undisrupted and on-campus studying for college kids.
“Quite the opposite, universities which don’t possess these amenities are inside the high-risk class.
“I hereby strongly advise that the federal authorities ought to cease mass closure of colleges. All faculties, significantly the personal universities which have the required world class well being amenities and have complied with Presidential Activity Drive rules which is able to allow them to implement low medium threat 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 subsequently unconstitutional.”
He stated his eleven years outdated college had been having a clean and uninterrupted tutorial 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.
Babalola reminded the FG that ought to the low-risk personal universities stay shut down to attend for high-risk establishments, it’ll make the ivory towers stay in comatose for lengthy.
He added, “The FG ought to know that faculties in Ekiti are safer than that situated within the coronary heart of Lagos or Abuja. We should think about the geographical location. Any employee right here who goes to Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt goes for particular check and 7 days isolation. This underscored the extent of our preparedness.
“If the personal universities which fall inside the class of minimal threat have to attend for his or her public counterparts to renew, then no college will resume till the virus is totally eradicated which isn’t possible within the subsequent one yr.”
He urged the federal authorities to emulate international nations by paying the salaries of lecturers within the personal universities, which have been shut down due to COVID-19.
On whether or not he’ll method the court docket to problem the closure of personal universities, Babalola stated, “I’m not going to court docket, as a result of we have now not exhausted the choice of negotiation and native treatment. I’m a buddy of the FG and I do know that the Lawyer Basic of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami and the Vice President, Yemi Osibajo who’re senior legal professionals, will look into it.”
On how his college has been affected adversely, the elder statesman revealed that “We are able to’t even quantify our losses. We have now been following worldwide commonplace, which was September to July tutorial session earlier than this international downside.
“We have now executed seven convocations in ten years. We pay salaries on the 25th of each 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 companies not rendered? That is unfair.
“That’s the reason we’re calling on the federal authorities to pay the salaries of employees in personal universities which have been shut down due to COVID-19. That was the strategy adopted in international nations.”