FUNAAB Workers Hold Rallies to Support, Oppose Suspended VC
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, on Tuesday, organised different rallies in favour and against the suspension of the Vice -Chancellor, Prof. Olusola Oyewole, by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.
The suspension order was conveyed in a letter, dated May 8, 2017, and signed by the acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Hussaini Adamu.
The letter of suspension was delivered to Oyewole on Thursday.
The letter, which was sighted by the press, directed the embattled VC, whose tenure ends on May 23, 2017, to hand over the affairs of the institution to the most senior staff member in the institution.
Oyewole had, last Friday, in compliance with the suspension order by the ministry, handed over to Prof. Oluyemisi Eromosele, the Deputy VC, Academics, who is the most senior academic member of staff.
The suspended VC, however, shocked the institution’s workers and students on Monday when he resurfaced in the university and headed for his former office, where he began to perform official functions undeterred.
However, things took a different twist on Tuesday when members of NASU and SSANU gathered separately within the campus to express their support for and opposition to the embattled VC respectively.
The NASU members converged on the open space in front of the Senate building to list and sing the achievements of Oyewole while condemning his suspension by the education minister.
SSANU, comprising the senior non-academic staff members, organised what they called ‘celebration of the inglorious exit of Oyewole’ at its secretariat also located within the campus.
A musician was on hand to dish out various songs with members dancing, while fried bean cakes and hot pap were served to members and guests.
The chairman of SSANU, FUNAAB chapter, Olurotimi Fasuwon, while addressing journalists, said, “The event is organised to coincide with the shameful end and unceremonious exit of Prof. Oyewole as the vice-chancellor of our once-glorious university and to give a dossier of the backwardness which he brought upon the university.”
Fasuwon alleged that Oyewole’s tenure had brought anguish to the workers and had set the university back by more than 10 years.
“The university had over the years, enjoyed love, joy and happiness among the various categories of staff. They now live in fear, hate and distrust courtesy of Prof. O. B. Oyewole,” the union leader stated.
But the NASU chairman in the university, Isiaq Odunjo, absolved Oyewole of any misdeed.
Odunjo said NASU organised the rally to condemn the suspension of the VC, describing it as an illegality.
He described the action of the Minister of Education as hijacking the responsibility of the university’s Governing Council, adding that the said letter “is a manifestation of executive lawlessness and abuse of office on the part of the minister.”