By Elizabeth Osayande
THE last may not have been heard over the lingering crisis between the management of Adeniran Ogunsaya College of Education, Ijanikin and the labour unions in the institutions over the continued stay in office of the bursar and registrar.
Recall that recently, the four unions in the College comprisinh College of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU; Non Academic Staff Union; Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education, SSUCOEN; and National Association of Education Academic Technologists of Nigeria, NACEATION drove the Bursar and Registrar, Messrs. Shehu Muhideen and Adeyanju Adebisi respectively out of the College.
The unions had earlier alleged that the duo were involved in various fraudulent acts before they were eventually driven out of the College.
Meanwhile, the Special Adviser on Education to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Hon. Tokunbo Wahab after the fracas sent a letter to the new Provost, Prof. Bidemi Lafiaji-Okuneye, directing some members to report to Alausa to answer query for their actions.
However, the unions at a press briefing described the directive as an act of intimidation and victimisation by state government because of their whistle blowing efforts.
In a release signed by chairman COEASU, Com. Ige Ajayi; Chairman SSUCOEN, Comr. Wunmi Omobugadu; Chairman, NASU, Comr. Badmus Adesola; and Chairman NACEATON, Comr. Nwalia Olubunmi , the unions rejected the letter from the SAE.
Part of the letter read: “The AOCOED unions unequivocally reject purported letter on the invitation of some members our unions to continue resuming to the office of the SAE on daily basis from 8 am to 4 pm. This sounds unthinkable in this democratic era, particularly in an autonomous tertiary institution like ours.
“ The action taken recently by the unions is against the principal officers who have caused economic adversity, fraught with administrative lapses in the College which is purview of civil rights and credentials of labour unions expectedly our unions , the masses and the good people of Lagos state which include the Lagos State Government and the persons in the government believe to be on the path of truth, and to look into this complaints objectively so that our College will reign in peace, tranquillity and achieve its mandate to make staff and students feel challenged to dedicate their services for betterment of mankind. “
Reacting to the allegation of intimidation and victimisation by the Lagos State government, Wahab in an interview with our correspondent, explained that the letter was sent to the unions to douse the tension in the College and for them to answer query on the manhandling of the Bursar and the Registrar.
His words: “This whole thing started on the 9th March 2020. We got information that the unions and management were having a meeting. Thereafter the unions asked the top management staff of the College, the Registrar and the Bursar to leave campus, declaring them persona non grata on campus.
“By Wednesday this issue was taken out of control and I called the CSO to go and unseal the locked offices. As an employee, if you have grievances that are legitimate, all they ought to do was simple go-ahead forward your complaint to the Provost who will forward it to the Council and SAE. They went ahead, beat the CSO, and asked him to leave that place. By Thursday we were at Lagos State Poly, we had to call the commander, Rapid Response Unit, and the Regional Police to unseal the offices. By Friday, the offices were unsealed. That same day, we chose to do two things, invite them to Alausa since the institution is owned by the state, and they are also public servants. This was done to douse the tension on campus.
“Their reporting was to answer query for going against public service rules. When they slapped the CSO and the Registrar. What if the man collapsed and die what would they be saying today? In a civilized clime, if any student did that, he or she would be expelled.”