The workers of the Adeyemi University of Education have protested against the alleged failure of the Federal Government to appoint a vice chancellor after the institution had been upgraded to a university.
The protesters, on Tuesday, gathered in front of the main gate of the institution, chanting various solidarity songs to express their grievances.
During the protest, the workers barricaded the Ondo-Ore Expressway, causing traffic gridlock for several hours, while some motorists took alternative routes to their destinations.
They carried placards with various inscriptions such as ‘Give us our vice chancellor’, ‘Appointment of our VC is long overdue’, ‘Give AFUED a VC,’ ‘Adeyemi Community needs a VC’, among others.
The protesters disclosed that the current Provost of the school, Dr Samuel Akintunde had been given another term of four years to be provost instead of being the VC. The action, they said was to retain the institution’s college of education status.
After the protest, the non-teaching unions of the school – the Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education, Nigeria, the National Association of Academic Technologists of Nigeria and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities Associated Institutions held a joint congress and issued a communique after the congress.
The congress accused the governing council of the Adeyemi College of Education of frustrating the process of taking off of the university despite the signing of the bill that upgraded the institution into law by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The communique read in part, “The position of the governing council is working against the stand of the Federal Government of Nigeria as indicated in the university gazette. The governing council is hereby challenged to have negated the Federal Government of Nigeria’s position.
“The unions observed with dismay that the governing council concealed information from members of staff as regards the university status and used that to reappoint the College Provost and Registrar to torpedo the takeoff of the University, despite that Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo is no longer in existence by law.
“The act of the Governing Council was illegal and dereliction of functions. The official gazette empowers the governing council to still continue in office as the council of the university but not as Council of College of Education. Hence, such provision negates the decision of the governing council to re-appoint the provost and the registrar for a second term in office when there is no more College Of Education”
Also in the communique, the congress gave the FG 30 days ultimatum, to ensure “immediate takeoff of the university as established by the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (the university should have taken off since 23rd December, 2021 when accented into Law by President Muhammadu Buhari).”
They also called for the “immediate reversal of the reappointment of the provost and the college registrar for a second term. The official gazette should be fully implemented with immediate effect. The Federal Government of Nigeria should honour her laws and act accordingly.”