None Academic Staff Union (NASU), of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Ijanikin Lagos had recently embarked on a peaceful demonstration over several issues in the college. During the peaceful protest which lasted for over five hours, motorists and commuters who applied Badagry- Lagos expressway will never forget in hurry the ugly experiences.
The union members along students trooped out enemas and used the college buses to block the ever busy Badagry-Lagos express way, thereby causing the travelers to be stranded. Some of the issues they were demanding include, the immediate release of their provost, Mr. Olalekan Bashorun’s re-appointment letter, approval and release of funds to bail out the college from its financial difficulties.
Speaking during the protest, chairman of AOCOED – NASU, Mr. Femi Adebayo accused the deputy governor of State Dr. Mrs. Oluranti Adebule of being responsible for none release of the re- appointment letter of the institution’s provost. He said that the deputy governor was responsible for the inability of the state government to release the reappointment letter of the provost, when his counterpart has gotten.
According to Adebayo, this is the first in the history of the college and the state; that a deputy governor will circumvent the directive and approval of the state governor. He accused the deputy governor of having somebody in mind from Lagos State University (LASU) to replace the incumbent provost, vowing that the union would not accept any person to head the college apart from the current provost who knows the terrain in the college.
According to him, since the deputy governor was bend on bringing in somebody from LASU to head the college, the union was also ready to defend its just course in the college. He said because the deputy governor is an Awori woman, she wants to bring in an Awori person to head the college. “We are not politicians and not interested in the political maneuvering, we want the college to be progressing and growing, that is why we are calling on the deputy governor not to obstruct the release of the re-appointment letter of the provost” he said.
He said the tenure of the provost of AOCOED and Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCOPED) expired at the same time and second term approval was given at the same time by the governor, but only the renewal letter of MOCPED provost was released and the deputy governor was holding the renewal letter of AOCOED’s provost. He said the reason for the deputy governor’s action was selfish, personal and egocentric.
Adebayo said AOCOED community as comprised voted for All progressive congress ( APC) enemas at the last general election and was dismayed that it was being pay back by denying them their benefits and peace hitherto as being enjoyed since inception . In the same vein, the union accused the chair person of senior staff union of college of education, Mrs. Ombugadu Wunmi of being instrumental to the crisis in the college, saying that she had wrongfully misinformed the state government about the stand of the unions about the provost’s re-appointment. ”
One Mrs. Omubugadu Wunmi who is parading herself as the daughter of the soil, is not representing the interest of the unions in the college. Available facts show that she is conniving with the deputy governor to truncate the peaceful co-existence on campus “he said The NASU boss said that the union appreciates the governor’s good gesture, but said that some disgruntle elements in the college are bend on misinforming him about the college provost and the college.
He said the union agitation for bail out was genuine because the management has been managing to maintain peace in the college over years and the state government appears not to be sensitive to the plight of the workers and the management. According to him, the state government gives the college management N125 million every months to run the college and they spends over N180 million to pay workers salaries every month.
“The state government inadequacy in funding of the college has caused the management to dip hands into the unions’ cooperative fund to pay salaries of workers and it was not good for industrial harmony. All the college cooperative moneys have been used to pay salaries and yet we have government who claimed to being funding the college. How can government give responsibility to somebody and denied him the tools to work? The immediate past Governor Mr. Babatunde Fashola promised us heaven on earth, but did not do anything” he said.
AOCOED is Lagos state owed tertiary institution for all. It is on record that bail out was given to LASU and Lagos state polytechnic (LASPOTECH) and Michael Otedola a College Of Primary Education MOCPED twice and AOCOED has not received any bail-out nor increment in subvention over the years . However, a members of Colleges Of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), of the college who spoke under anonymity said, the state governor would be playing with fire if there were no immediate bailout to the college and issuance of re-appointment letter to the provost. He said, the crisis may get worse very soon, if things were not urgently addressed in the college, given that the present provost has been with the college for years and knows how to manage staff and students, even in the mist of financial inadequacy.
Recalled, Bashorun had during the college’s 2015 convocation appealed to the state governor Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to urgently bailout the college to fulfill its financial obligations to workers. He said the inadequate monthly subvention of the college has culminated in inability to fulfill its financial obligations to party deduction as at when due. He told the governor represented by his deputy that, inability of the management to meet its financial obligations to staff was threatening peaceful industrial harmony in the college. “We earnestly appeal to governor for 65 per cent increase in the monthly subvention and immediate bail- out to get the college on a level pedestal and assured future.
The college needs immediate bail- out, I mean immediate bail out. This bail out will help the college settle its outstanding debts accrued from third party deductions and also its obligations on personnel emoluments ”Bashorun said He said the inability of the college to pay huge debts accrued to the college as results of none remittance of outstanding past benefits of staff to Pension Fund Administration (PFAs) has been a source of rift between the management and the staff unions which is fast eroding the peaceful industrial harmony in the college.