Dr. Gibba debunks UTG’s claims as lack of integrity, merit

Jul 1, 2021, 1:47 PM

Dr. Alieu Gibba, a senior lecturer and president of the University of The Gambia’s Faculty and Staff Association (UTGFSA) has debunked claims advanced by the university, describing it as lack of integrity and merit.

According to Dr. Gibba, University of The Gambia is an Academic Public Institution established by an Act of Parliament with structures, processes, and procedures and as such whoever writes on behalf of this institution should bear the responsibility.

Below reads his full reaction:

“An article captioned (sic) UTG Reacts to Lecturer’s Resignation from Vice Chancellor’s Selection Committee published on your newspaper dated Wednesday 23rd June, 2021 Vol 30 No: 127 ISSN 0796-0794 refers.

I read this article with great care and concerns. I have observed that the article did not bear any specific identity of the author knowing that University of The Gambia is an Academic Public Institution established by an Act of Parliament with structures, processes, and procedures and as such whoever writes on behalf of this noble institution should indicate his/her identity and portfolio.

Besides, the article is overloaded with insults that are uncalled-for, unprofessional, and unethical. The author should focus his/her writing on issues raised and currently affecting the university than otherwise. These reasons indicate that the article lack integrity and merit for consideration. In response, I will answer all relevant concerns raised in the article to the letter.

To begin with, I want to remind the author that since the inception of the Staff Association, the executive embarked upon consultative meetings with all key stakeholders. First, the executive conducted tours to all the faculties/schools under the jurisdiction of the university and the concerns raised were documented in our strategic document that were shared with key stakeholders including the UTG management.

Further to this, several meetings were conducted with UTG Management, the Office of The President, the National Assembly Select Committee on Education, and Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science, and Technology as well as the Chairman of the Governing to iron out the perennial problems of UTG.

At each of these meetings our strategic document was presented to the stakeholders. It was only the Office of The President the executive sent the strategic document in advance to justify our meeting with the office. Again, the executive also met with the Secretary General as the highest authority to ponder over the maladministration conducted by the UTG management.

In the light of the above, to say the least among others for the Senior Lecturer and President of UTG Faculty and Staff Association to expose the internal issues of the university is out of context and an unfair judgement. I therefore, want to put it to the author that it is a common knowledge for any employee to know that institutions are bounded by rules and regulations to keep peace.

Thus, I will not write anything that is not meant for public consumption after having gone through the hurdles to bring all parties together at the table.
Going by the author’s article, it has been mentioned that the University has a plethora of policy guidelines and statutes that guides the internal processes and procedures of the institution, I want to inform the author that none of these guidelines were followed and all the stakeholders consulted can attest to that unequivocally.

It is only followed when matters under consideration suits the university management interest at the detriment of the nation. During all our meetings, the management lapses in communication has been reiterated and were advised to open up with the staff as primary and frontline staff of the university.

I want to inform the author that the current UTG Staff Association under the leadership of Dr. Gibba brought a lot of changes such as: the establishment of the Directorate of Research and Consultancy, Students’ Affairs Directorate (to interface between the staff and students), Quality Assurance Directorate, and Sports Directorate among others, and more importantly, increased the UTG staff salaries twice for the past couple of years from which the university top management benefited; D25,000 to D30,000 added to their salaries.

In view of these innovative developments, it is injustice or prejudice for the author to claim that Dr. Gibba’s submission is full of half-truths and a gross misrepresentation of facts.

Such outstanding achievements will never be mentioned by the university management, instead they take ownership of the association’s developments and label them as “Noise and Trouble makers”. The set-up Research Directorate is now bringing millions of dalasis to the university and benefiting both the staff and students.

Reference is made to the authors claim that the Registrar will as usual be the Secretary of the Joint Search Committee is a misconception. Quoting the previous incidence doesn’t warrant his inclusion. UTG is guided by laws and regulations. Experience dictates that appropriate Vice Chancellor were not appointed as they were operating under the directives of those who were involved in their appointment which was obvious.

My contention to the Registrar’s participation in the process has been dictated by the UTG Bye-Laws of which the author clearly indicates that they are operating on the statutes of the institution. This apparently, is a contradiction of which they blatantly turned a blind eye to because it conflicts with their interest as earlier mentioned. It is logical to say that the recruitment process of the Vice should exclude any individual that will influence the statuary functions of the Titular head rather than dictates of the contractual agreements signed. In this regards the hidden and unidentified author from the UTG management doesn’t know how public administration works.

It is not a formula or sacrosanct that you have been doing something and it didn’t work and continued with it. That is why creativity and innovation works for improvement.
Finally, the author prescribed a number of insults to derail me from the right course which does not move me an inch. I want to put it to the author that I am representing a body of the entire staff of UTG including the top management.

My executive comprises professionals in their own rights with high degree of integrity who don’t poke their noses into anything that they cannot substantiate in anyway. Furthermore, they have accorded me with their support in various ways, of course with legal advice and relevant information that are under my custody. We are not going to relent or bow down to any individual interest detriment to the progress of the lone noble public university.

In conclusion, I want the hidden and unidentified author insulting on behalf of the university management to understand that the University of The Gambia is bigger than any one of us. I have been saying this in all the fora I have been engaged in and I will continue to reiterate it at any level.

The Staff Association was established legally at the Attorney General (AG) chambers before the enactment of the 2016 Tertiary and Higher Education Act and approved by all key stakeholders and it is here to stay whether with us or not. Your claims about the legality of the continuity of the second term is out of frustrations failing to understand that the congress has rights to amend laws. My genuine advice to you as the hidden author of this article is to comply with dictates of the statues of the university otherwise you will continue to face challenges that you cannot control.

The association don’t want a repeat of the State versus Alhagie Gumbo Ali Touray which was a land mark case in the country. The state losing in favour of Gumbo Touray is an international disgrace. The executive is willing to work with all key stakeholders amicably on the grounds of safe guarding the interest of the university within the remits of the law.

I rest my case and I will never waste my time to respond to insults, misquotation of the UTG conditions of service to mislead the general public, and unfounded stories that came about due to frustration. A university management / interim council is not expected to be using inappropriate words like “nonsensical” when reacting to a genuine resignation. It wasn’t a surprise to me because I know the source of the reactions.”

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