Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The lingering crisis between Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has taken another dimension, as the union accused the outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kayode Soremekun, of clandestine plans to impose his anointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof Abayomi Fasina, as his successor.
The union said Prof Soremekun had allegedly been running the university like a private entity and promoting culture of ethnicity, nepotism, financial recklessness and abridgement of due process for personal aggrandizement.
ASUU said Prof Fasina, who allegedly absconded from the Ekiti State University (EKSU) in 2015 and collected double salaries running into a sum of N3.4 million from the two institutions for six months lacks the requisite integrity and moral qualities to be appointed a vice chancellor.
Reacting to ASUU allegations, Soremekun via the Deputy Director, Corporate Services, Adeyinka Ademuyiwa, said Prof Fasina was not being imposed by anybody.
Soremekun added that the process of getting a new VC has begun and hopeful of the emergence of a new VC from this ‘transparent’ process, saying the zonal ASUU, which commanded poor followership among lecturers in FUOYE lacks the credibility to impose anyone on the institution through incessant attacks and obnoxious practices.
Prof Soremekun’s tenure as VC of FUOYE will end in February, 2021.
The Coordinator of ASUU, Akure Zone, Prof Olu Olu Olufayo, who spoke at a press conference held at Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti (EKSU), explained that the lingering crisis between the union and FUOYE’ s management was not a personal vendetta against anybody, but to prevent the university system from being undermined and desecrated.
“About 70 professors applied, nine were shortlisted, but we learnt Prof Fasina came first. In the advertorial, professors from state universities were shut out from applying. We won’t resort to brigandage, but we will continue to speak against despotism, disorderliness, brutishness and armtwisting at FUOYE.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently stop the impunity and the attempt to institutionalize same at FUOYE. For some time now, ASUU has been calling out different agencies of government to address the rot, extraordinary corruption, ineptitude and moral decadence at the university under the direction of Profs Soremekun, Fasina and a host of others. If this is left unchecked, it would be a fallacy to address FUOYE as a university.
“Under Professors Soremekun and Fasina, FUOYE has become an enslaved and conquered territory where academic freedom has long been mortgaged to nepotism, parochialism and patronage. Soremekun and Fasina have continued to run a private enterprise and surprisingly, as the tenure of the VC is coming to an end, we learnt that there are clandestine plans to enthrone Prof. Fasina as an anointed successor in a bid to enshrine a dynasty of impunity.
“Fasina, by all available information of his misdemeanour should have been arrested and prosecuted over one year ago. We had earlier petitioned two anti-graft agencies ( EFCC and ICPC) on the goings-on at FUOYE since 2019 and till now, we have not heard anything. We are particularly worried with the recent information of the intention of Council being zombied by the VC to appoint Fasina as the next vice chancellor.
“Fasina assumed duty at EKSU on 2nd February, 2000 on a visiting appointment as a Senior Lecturer and given a permanent appointment on 2nd January, 2002. The appointment was confirmed in 2005 and he was promoted Professor in 2007. He was granted sabbatical appointment in FUOYE from 2nd January 2015 to terminate on 31st December 2015. He sought for and got an extension to utilize his deferred accumulated leave still at FUOYE between 4th January and 22nd September 2016. He duly returned to EKSU on the 23rd of September 2016 and later absconded in the same month till now.”
Defending FUOYE further, Soremekun said Fasina did not collect double salaries as being alleged. He disclosed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) as well as the university Governing Council had investigated the matter and made respective pronouncements on this issue which Akure ASUU keeps unsatisfied with clean bill given to the DVC.
“The requirement that the coming VC should preferably have experience in federal university prior to applying is based on changing challenges of this time. It should be noted here that the operative phrase is: preferably federal and this connotes a measure of inclusion and does not take thick- headedness to appreciate this.
“The raised issues are over-flogged. Nothing new is being said by these tired characters who pose as scholars. Each time FUOYE is making a huge leap to consolidate on previous gains, misguided characters masquerading as scholars who channelled their energies on frivolities try to deny, delay or distract us from such achievements.”