From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Ekiti State Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi has been asked to sack the Governing Council of Ekiti State University (EKSU) under the leadership of Professor Bamitale Omole, a former Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), over the proscription of four staff unions in the institution last weekend.
The four unions are the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU).
The call was made by the National Vice President of SSANU, Western Zone, Olayiwola Salaam, at a press conference he addressed at the Board Room of the Postgraduate School, University of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Monday.
The Governing Council of EKSU, Ado Ekiti, had on Saturday, through a statement, issued by the university’s Head, Directorate of Information, Bode Olofinmuagun, entitled: ‘Closure of the University’, proscribed the four unions, and also announced the immediate closure of the university and ordered students to vacate the campus forthwith.
The action, according to the statement, was as a result of the ‘continuous disruption of lawful activities on campus which have endangered lives and property in the last one week. To guarantee peace and orderliness on campus, all the four unions are hereby proscribed with immediate effect.’
Crisis had broken out between the university authorities and workers last week Monday. The workers of the institution across the various unions had hired a live band and turned the main entrance of the university to a party ground in a bid to press home their demands over alleged unpaid salaries and allowances, among other things.
Addressing a press conference on Monday in Ibadan, SSANU said: ‘The purported proscription of trade unions by the Governing Council of Ekiti State University is an April fool prank, being circulated too late in the month of April. The SSANU rejects this illegality and announces that it runs ultra vires, null and void.
‘Members of SSANU in Ekiti State University should continue to abide by the instructions of their branch leadership and ignore any attempt by despots and tyrants to turn them to slaves in their own universities. The national and zonal bodies of SSANU stand solidly and in solidarity with our comrades in Ekiti State University, irrespective of union affiliation and shall explore all means to reverse this draconian stance of the Governing Council of Ekiti State University.
‘The Governor of Ekiti State and Visitor to Ekiti State University, John Kayode Fayemi, must immediately intervene in this matter by removing the Tale Omole Governing Council to allow for more credible and democratic individuals to run the affairs of the university.
‘The real issues, which led to the crisis, the irregular dismissal of over 1,000 staff, the non-payment of five months’ salary arrears in 2018; non remittance of pension deductions; non-remittance of tax deduction; non-payment of Earned Allowances since 2016 till date. Be addressed instead of chasing shadows and distracting the unions with a purported proscription that holds no water.
‘The Ekiti State Government must embrace dialogue, negotiations and constructive engagement in resolving the above enumerated issues instead of going ahead with the kamikaze approach it has adopted because we can assure you that this approach will only blow up in the government’s face if it goes ahead.’