…Urges Gov. Bello to reverse sacking of 150 Kogi varsity lecturers
From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Lagos Zone, has called for an independent panel of inquiry to look into the lingering crisis in the Lagos State University (LASU) before the crisis grinds the academic activities in the university to total halt.
Also, the ASUU has urged Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to call to order, some of his functionaries, who the Union alleged, were allegedly working in tandem with the Vice Chancellor of LASU and some members of Governing Council, to fuel the crisis in the institution.
The ASUU equally called on Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to reverse the sacking of over 150 academic staff of the Kogi State University over alleged lawful strike to press for the demand of backlogs of many months salary owed them.
Coordinator, Lagos Zone of ASUU, Prof. Olusiji Sowande, made these calls, on Wednesday, at a press conference held at the ASUU Secretariat, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
Sowande, who read from a text entitled: ‘Impunity and Crude Political Onslaught on our Union in Lagos and Kogi State Universities’, said the press briefing was at the instance of the national body of ASUU, aimed to expose alleged victimisation and intimidation of ASUU members in the two state universities.
Flanked by other ASUU coordinators from the zone, Prof. Sowande also alleged that the unjust dismissal of the chairperson and the vice chairperson of ASUU-LASU branch as well as the continuous intimidation of other union members by the management of the university, was a deliberate move to decimate the Union.
He further stated that other committed members of the branch had been penciled down for outright dismissal on various trump up and spurious allegations by the university administration, while the purported dismissed members of the union were daily being hounded by the police on the directives of the LASU VC, Prof. Lanre Fagbohun.
Sowande, who said the university’s ASUU’s problem with the VC began when it demanded for constitution of a functional Budget Monitoring Committee (BMC), evidence of proper utilization of N1.3b NEEDS Assessment Revitalization fund released to the university in 2013 among other issues, urged Governor Ambode and member of the public, to prevail on authorities of LASU to put a stop to what he termed “a high level of impunity and lawlessness”.
Speaking on the impasse in Kogi State University, the ASUU coordinator said the action of Governor Bello was an abuse of power and orchestrated plan to destroy the university education system in the state.
He, however, bemoaned a situation where the governor, who is a Visitor to the university, after sacking the union staff, recruited untrained academics, NYSC members and NCE holders as their replacements.
Sowande continued, “The wide condemnation from different quarters following the proscription of ASUU-KSU activities is enough evidence that Nigerians know their rights. We therefore demand the reversal of this dastardly act and the immediate recall of the unjustly sacked academics in KSU. Our union will use all possible lawful and political means to fight the injustice and lawlessness in KSU”.
“ASUU, Lagos Zone joins the Education Right Campaign (ERC) in calling for an independent panel of inquiry on the unfolding crisis in LASU with a view to resolving it before the crisis becomes a monster that will be difficult to curtail. We call on the Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to call some of his functionaries to order as there are evidences that they are working in tandem with the VC of LASU and some members of the governing council to fuel the crisis in LASU,” Sowande submitted.