This is not the best of time for Adeniran Ogunsanyo College of Education (AOCOED), Ijanikin, Lagos as a major crisis is rocking the 62 years old institution.
Recently, the four staff unions accused the Registrar, Mr. Muhideen Shehu and Bursar, Mr. Adeyanju Adebisi of wrongdoings. The two principal officers were sent out of the campus after their offices were sealed off.
But in a reaction to the crisis, the Special Adviser on Education to the Governor, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab described the actions of the unions as unacceptable and directed 23 union leaders to report on a daily basis to his office from 8:00 am to 4:00pm
Within the last one week, the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (SSUCOEN), Non-Academic Staff Union and National Association of College of Education Technologists of Nigeria (NACEATION) wrote to the state government to probe the financial dealings involving the registrar and bursar.
In a swift reaction, the registrar, Shehu described the allegation by the staff unions as baseless and challenged the unions to produce documents of the financial impropriety against him and bursar or show evidence.
The Education Report learnt that the state government has asked the two AOCOED principal officers to resume work as the unions lack the powers to seal their officers and declare them persona-non-grata.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government directed 23 union leaders of AOCOED to report on a daily basis to the Office of Special Adviser on Education to the Governor.
The letters of invitation from the SA on Education to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was sent to the office of AOCOED Provost.
In a swift reaction to the invitation, the staff unions, described the action of the SA as intimidation and called on the government to withdraw the letters.
Briefing newsmen on the state of affairs in the college, Representatives of AOCOED Joint Staff Unions (RAJSU) confirmed that the registrar and bursar have been declared persona-non-grata and their offices sealed off.
Spokesperson for RAJSU, Mr. Ajayi Ige said the four staff unions took the decision following the inability of the registrar and bursar to produce MoU documents with two banks operating in AOCOED and a telecommunication firm hosting masthead.
According to Ige, the unions demanded to know how much the two banks and a telecommunication firm pay to AOCOED for operating within the campus in the last 16 years and denied that the duo were manhandled.
The unions accused the two principal offices of taking over the job of the procurement department and alleged they bought all accreditation equipment and vehicles.
The four staff unions rejected the letters directing them to resume at the office of the SA on education on a daily basis from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm.
In the rejection letter to the SA, RAJSU said ‘’this sounds unthinkable in the democratic era in an autonomous tertiary institution like ours.’’
The letter copied the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly and chairman, House Committee on Education, said the action taken by the unions are against two principal officers who have caused economic adversity fraught with administrative lapses in the college.
“We advise you to use your good offices to practice fair play in all ramification’’, RAJSU reminded the SA.
The SA on Education to the Governor, Mr. Wahab confirmed the union leaders were directed to report to his office because they assaulted the registrar, bursar, and the chief security officer of the college, sealed their offices and stopped them from entering the campus.
“The unions do not have the right to beat up any staff no matter the issue. Who gave them the powers to lock up their offices, the locked offices are state government property. I have reports of the incident. I will first issue them queries and apply the law.
“Can imagine the unions prepared obituary of the registrar and bursar. The government will not tolerate this kind of behaviour from its workers. I have seen their letter rejecting their invitation to report to Alausa, have they forgotten they are public servant.’’
Wahab said despite the assault on the two principal officers and the CSO, he will not sweep the allegations against them.