..Say some branches of the union are playing politics of bitterness with school mgt
A group, Ekiti Progressives (EP), has chided the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over its alleged attack on the management of both the Ekiti State University (EKSU) and Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE/, alleging that the zonal branch of ASUU, Akure and the two local branches of the union in EKSU and FUOYE were becoming enemies of progress to the two Universities in the state.
The EP was reacting to allegations recently made by ASUU against the Management of the two institutions recently that they were allegedly involved in misconducts ranging from misappropriation of funds, secret recruitment without due process and neptoism among others.
Zonal leader of ASUU, Akure, Prof. Olu Olufayo and local Chairman, FUOYE, Dr. Biodun Omonijo and others had alleged that Management of the institutions were guilty of thr aforementioned misconducts, but EP, an indigenous group of stakeholders, which identified itself as representing the interest of Ekiti indigenes who are staff members of both Universities, in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mr. Olabisi Adesua and made available to news men at the weekend, alleged that ASUU, Akure zone, under the leadership of Prof. Olu Olufayo and the local branches of EKSU and FUOYE have been playing politics of bitterness against the management and causing their (ASUU) members to suffer in the process.
In the said press statement entitled: “ASUU and two Universities in Ekiti”, the group said: “For keen observers who would have been following the unhealthy relationship between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the respective management of the two Universities in Ekiti State, i.e Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) and Ekiti State University, (EKSU), it won’t be difficult to have noticed that ASUU has over time, become a perpetual trouble maker taking delight in rocking the boat and constituting nuisance for the twin management of the varsities. “
” As a matter of fact, the local branches of ASUU in these two universities have consistently played successive politics of bitterness manifesting in militant unionism which continue to jeopardize a healthy relationship that ought to exist between the management of the twin citadels of learning and ASUU as a trade union. Rather than promoting peaceful co-existence by engaging in healthy dialogue, constructive criticism of the activities of management in order to generate a symbiotic rapport that gurrantees continuous protection of the interests of ASUU members before the management, they have continued on a self destructive journey of recklessly opposing the management and mindlessly rocking the boat to create bad blood and unjustified enimty among stakeholders. “
Continuing, the group said: “Sadly, the consequences of such awful development have been poor welfare for ASUU members, lack of a sense of belonging as members, unhealthy rivalry among members and poor growth and development of the union on all fronts .
“The unwholesome development caused by some dissenting ASUU members in FUOYE has been largely suffered by members of ASUU themselves. A case in point is the brouhaha created by a former local chairman and disowned member of ASUU in the University, Dr, Gabriel Omonijo who has been a thorn in the flesh of the management and a black sheep of ASUU in FUOYE. Interestingly our findings about Omonijo revealed that he has been suspended from FUOYE for allegedly diverting tetfund funds for other purposes.
“While members of ASUU in FUOYE have consistently lamented poor welfare and poor growth of the union in all ramifications, Omonijo’s ignoble leadership style has terribly factionalized the union to the effect that there are currently five factions of ASUU in FUOYE namely, Academic Staff Concerned Group; Congress of Nigerian Academics; New Academic Staff Union of FUOYE and the remnant of ASUU which tagged itself Concerned Academic Staff of FUOYE and other stakeholders who have been vehemently opposed to Omonijo’s unpopular faction. It should be noted also that all the five factions, except Omonijo’s, have been in firm support of the management.
” As already in the public glare via the media, Omonijo and his co-travelers, i.e a disgruntled ASUU zonal leader, Akure, Prof. Olu Olu and others, have constituted themselves as nuisance to the management of FUOYE over allegations of misconduct they raised against the school’s management led by Prof. Kayode Soremekun. Such allegations include alleged financial misappropriation, secret recruitment, illegal sack of ASUU members and promotion without due process among others. Unfortunately for this crop of so-called intellectual activists of ASUU, they have failed to prove the aforementioned allegations against the management.
“Meanwhile, FUOYE management has not only continued to dismiss the allegations as false and baseless but also constantly challenged Omonijo and his cronies to bring forth proof of them. Instead of providing such proof and come with clean hands, these enemies of progress have repeatedly sponsored such falsehood in the media just to satisfy their devilish intentions to cause chaos and disaffection,” it claimed.
While reminding ASUU that its primary role is to ensure the protection of the interests of members in the institutions, the group alleged that: ” But ASUU of Omonijo’s crop in FUOYE has failed in this respect, and rather engage in politics of bitterness and mudslinging against the management. While lack of a purposeful leadership by Omonijo has resulted into a host of unpalatable consequences i.e factionalization of the union, unhealthy rivalry, lack of adequate welfare and lack of a sense of belonging among ASUU members, the university management under Prof. Soremekun has continued to record commendable achievements which have greatly impacted on the University community and all relevant stakeholders.
” Prof. Soremekun with the kind support of his Management team, including the DVC, Admininstration, Prof. Abayomi Fasina, DVC, Academics, Prof. Olusola Ojo, the university Bursar, Mrs. Bolanle Akande, Acting Registrar, Mr. Mufutau Ibarahim, and the VC’s Director of Administration and Sepcial Duties, Mr. Odunsanya Olatunbosun, have recorded outstanding achievements for almost five years. For the records, FUOYE had five faculties offering 30 academic programmes in 2016 when Soremekun came on board. But by the time the school had her 20/21 virtual matriculation ceremony for fresh students on July 28, 2020, the University already had the number of faculties shot up to 11 with 75 academic programmes!. Not only that all these programmes are fully accredited, the recent additions are not mere academic courses, they included programmes in faculties of Law, Pharmacy, Basic Medical Sciences, and Environmental Studies among others
” Prof. Soremekun and his team has not just succeeded in ensuring a rapid growth in terms of academic programmes, he is perfecting the amazing success with proportional growth in infrastructural development. Since 2016 till date, the Management has completed over seventy projects that include the utra-modern faculty of Pharmacy building, ultra-modern faculty of Agriculture, the well equipped media studio facility for students of Mass Communication, the ultra-modern faculty of Basic Medical sciences, faculty of Management sciences complex and academic building for the faculty of Environmental Studies among others.
” Indeed, the University Management’s achievements in the aforementioned areas have engendered further commendable achievements, the number of students has risen from over 7,000 in 2016 to well over 24,000 currently!FUOYE now ranks among the top 200 Universities in Africa according to a recent webometric ranking,” it said..
Criticizing ASUU further, the group said: “Conversely, it has been tales of woes for ASUU in FUOYE and EKSU. The leadership of the union in the two varsities lack direction, focus and pitiably not purpose driven.
Instead of offering constructive criticism and supportive advice and opinions that would generate better ideas on the project of developing EKSU to become a world class Ivory Tower, ASUU in the varsity has been busy slamming both the Prof. Omole led Governing Council and Prof. Edward Olanipekun led Management baseless allegations of financial misappropriation and misconduct and going to the media with such falsehood in a reckless manner.
The pertinent questions to ask at this juncture are, whose interests is Omonijo and Olu Olu’s unpopular faction of ASUU representing in FUOYE if the union is split into factions? What has the Union done for the welfare of her members in the two Universities forbthe past 10 years? and how has the Union assisted the management of the two Universities in developing both the academic and infrastructural sectors of the schools as ASUU in other branches of the nation have done? . We do hope ASUU of both FUOYE and EKSU will have a sober reflection on these questions and mend their ways on time.