FUNAAB threatens to sack striking NASU workers

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It was gathered that the Governing Council of the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) has ordered the institution’s striking workers to resume work today (Monday) or risk being sacked.

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A circular issued last Friday by the institution’s registrar urged the striking workers to report to duty today in their own interest.

The Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) of the institution had been on strike for about six weeks now over a disagreement with the management concerning a petition written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olusola Oyewole.

On Friday, the university management terminated the appointment of 23 members of staff over various allegations, including “absconding from assigned duty-posts, sabotage and insubordination.”

Those sacked included the executive members of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) under the leadership of Mr. Rotimi Fasunwon.

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In another development, Head, Directorate of Public Relations of the institution, Mrs. Emi Alawode, yesterday said that the council had approved the appointment of Mrs. Oluremi Oyewunmi as acting bursar of the institution after the expiration of the tenure of Mr. Moses O. Ilesanmi.

Meanwhile, the National Executive Council of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately intervene and reverse the sack of its 23 members.

In a letter addressed to the President dated November 11, 2016 and signed by its President, Samson Ugwoke, the association stated: “The actions constitute a gross violation of the fundamental human rights of our members to freedom of expression and association as enshrined in Section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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“The union kindly requests your immediate intervention to reverse the sack and allow the investigation by the EFCC to continue. This, we believe, will encourage patriotic Nigerians to key in and actively participate in the President’s fight against corruption.”

However, academic activities are expected to be grounded at the university as SSANU plans to begin strike today over the sack of 23 workers.

In a communique issued after its national executive council meeting, SSANU threatened to explore legal means to ensure the sacked workers were reinstated.

The communique read in part: “SSANU NEC in session received the disgusting and shocking news of the recent development at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, where twenty-three (23) members of the union, including the entire branch executive of SSANU had their appointments terminated for union activities and for reporting crime to the appropriate organs of government.

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“NEC noted that members of the union, in spite of the anti-corruption crusade of the Federal Government, reported serious cases of abuse of power and corruption to the Federal Government through the Presidency, the Federal Ministry of Education, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission.”

The communique signed by the association’s National President, Samson Ugwoke and the National Publc Relations Officer (PRO), A.O. Salaam, further condemns the exposure, hazards and tension which members of the union have been exposed to since the investigation started.

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