There was mild drama on Tuesday on the campus of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), as members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) holds what it described as “unmeritorious” valedictory session for its suspended and outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole.
Just as the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) held a thanksgiving service in honour of Oyewole.
The two programmes were held simultaneously within the University environment without any molestation or harassment from any quarters.
Addressing its members, the SSANU chairman, Comrade Rotimi Fasunwon, alleged that the university had been confronted with a myriad of challenges since Oyewole became the institution VC.
He noted that there are distrust and hatred among the University community unlike what it obtained in the last five years.
Fasunwon explained that the institution would not have found itself in a crisis situation if the VC had managed the situation well.
The Union boss said that well-meaning citizens of the state were contacted to avert the impending crisis, submitting that all effort yielded no result.
Tribune Online recalled that the embattled VC whose tenure expires on May 23 had been having a running battle with SSANU in the last few months.
The SSANU members who gathered in front of their secretariat, fried beans cake also known as Akara with gaari, pap and bread and hired a live band chanting anti -Oyewole songs.
He said, “SSANU has always been generous to a fault, we always negotiate good conditions of service for the general members of staff unlike some of our sister union that always think and take all for themselves alone.
“In our effort to prevent the last crisis, SSANU leadership met severally with Prof O. B Oyewole for more than four weeks and pleaded with him to prevent an impending crisis.
“SSANU in its belief in setting the records straight has consequently decided to organise this programme to concise with the “shameful end” and “unceremonious exit” of Prof Oyewole as vice chancellor of our once glorious university and to give a dossier of the backwardness which he brought upon the University.”
He also claimed that Oyewole had collected a balance of N3.5 million severance allowance which he is said to have been entitled to after completion of tenure.
However, the branch chairman of NASU, Comrade Ishaq Odunjo, described the suspension of Oyewole as illegal.
Odunjo said the letter containing the suspension of Oyewole which was signed by an acting permanent secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education was nothing but a manifestation of executive lawlessness and abuse of office on the part of the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.
“The suspension of the VC is defective. The VC has not been removed (suspended). Once a contract of employment has a statutory flavour, only the appropriate person given the power to discipline a member of staff must be the one to exercise such power, “Odunjo added.