The Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), has slammed the Federal Government over mass closure of universities due to COVID-19 pandemic, saying it is not only scandalous, disastrous but unconstitutional.
The elder statesman said the government lacks the power to close down all schools under any guise and should shelve the idea of shifting the January 18 resumption date for schools.
Afe Babalola, who expressed this view in a press conference in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, said the federal government must commence salary package for workers of private universities as being done in saner climes if schools must remain closed.
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, had in a statement stated that the January 18 earlier set by the federal government for school resumption would be reviewed.
Dissatisfied, Afe Babalola said: “I am of the firm view that mass closure of schools is unconstitutional, disastrous and counter-productive. It is certainly unjust to the parents, teachers, students and proprietors of schools and also violates the rule of natural justice.
“The USCDC said universities are different in terms of size, geographical location, structure and in their abilities to out in place measure that will guarantee minimum risk to students and teachers in their schools, which in turn will ensure uninterrupted academic activities on campus.
“On the contrary, universities which do not possess these facilities are within high risk category. I hereby strongly advise that the federal government should stop mass closure of schools. All schools, particularly the private universities that have the required world-class health facilities and have complied with Presidential Task Force regulations which will enable them to implement low medium risk measures ought not and should not be shut down.
“To shut them down with those which don’t have such facilities is unjust and violates the times of natural justice and therefore unconstitutional,” Afe Babalola said.