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Serious Protest as FUOYE management suspends union leaders

The staffs of Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) on Monday commenced an indefinite strike against alleged victimisation, intimidation and non-payment of hazard allowances. Acting under the countenance of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), they also staged a public protest at the school gate and exchanged words with policemen on ground. The protesters heckled a team of armed policemen led by Oye Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Sadiku Afolabi, a Superintendent of Police, who warned them against blocking the access road to the campus. But the university management has suspended the union leaders for allegedly disrupting the meeting the Governing Council held on the campus last week. The angry workers who massed at the gate where they held an emergency congress accused the management of sitting on the promotion of those employed at the inception of the institution while the newly-employed ones were promoted. NAAT Chairman, Ekundayo Ajibaye, demanded the withdrawal queries issued them and dissolution of panels allegedly set up to intimidate workers. He also said the workers want the immediate constitution of Budget Monitoring Committees alleging financial impropriety against the management. Ajibaye said: “We are fighting impunity and corruption is at its peak in FUOYE and we want the Federal Government to beam its searchlight here.” NASU Chairman, Dada Adebayo, said workers resorted to industrial action because the management allegedly reneged on the agreement reached after the last crisis in January. SSANU Chairman, Babafunso Awe accused the management of being insensitive to workers’ plight saying they won’t back down until all their demands are met. Awe also alleged that management has refused to release workers’ cooperative funds which has caused them hardship. Reacting, FUOYE spokesman Godfrey Bakji said unions had no basis to go on strike because their leaders have been suspended. Bakji described the workers allegation of corruption, intimidation, victimisation and impunity as untrue, baseless, unfounded and an attempt to blackmail the management. He said: “The management has issued suspension letters to SSANU and NASU leaders for disrupting a meeting of the governing council. “The Council directed that they be issued queries and they were given an opportunity to defend themselves which they failed to take advantage of. “On the issue of promotion, those who were qualified for promotion were issued their letters last week. “The Act establishing the university does not give room for everybody to be promoted at once, there are processes to be followed.” He urged the workers to allow peace to reign, return to their duty posts and see reason with management.

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