Lecturers shut agric college over suspension of members
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) of the Federal College of Agriculture, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Ibadan and the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Ibadan, have begun an industrial action over the suspension of some of their colleagues by the schools’ management.
The Lecturers who blocked all the entrances and premises of the institutions were also demanding the removal of the provost of Federal College of Agriculture, Ibadan, Dr Akanbi Adenekan and unconditional reinstatement of their suspended colleagues.
Indeed, there has been a prolonged misunderstanding between ASUP and the Provost over an order he issued few months ago that academic staff of the institution should renounce their membership of ASUP and transfer the loyalty to the rival Academic Staff Union of Research Institutes.
The lecturers had refused to obey the order, hinging their decision on the fact that FCA is not a research institute and that its activities are regulated by the National Board of Technical Education. They also claimed that while research institutes have no students, FCA is a school that awards Ordinary National Diploma and Higher National Diploma certificates to students.
The protest was led by the South-West zonal coordinator of ASUP, Olawale Adetunji, who explained that Dr Adenekan had committed a serious offence by disregarding the directive of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe, to recall the suspended lecturers of the FCA and resolve the matter.
Adetunji explained the genesis of the crisis thus: “In December 16, 2016, the Minister issued a directive on behalf of the Federal Government that the crisis in the FCA should be restored amicably and that all lecturers suspended by the provost should be recalled. The directive also ordered the provost to pay all allowances of ASUP members.
“We have waited for too long without any action taken by the provost in respect of the recommendation of the minister. The directive said we should withdraw the suit against the provost from the National Industrial Court as part of the negotiation process and we did.
‘’We were also asked to submit a letter of apology to the school and we respected the order too. But Adenekan has refused to fulfil his own part.
“We hereby want to tell Nigerians that we are saying ‘no’ to cheating, dictatorship and wickedness being expressed by the provost. We have gone to the ministry in Abuja three times and what we understand is that there is politics in play.
‘’Adenekan said the letter of directive is fake but it has been found out that the letter is from the Minister. Till date, he has refused to listen to our members. This protest will continue until our demands are met.”