The Management of the Federal University of Agriculture,Abeokuta (FUNAAB) has dispelled with convincing evidence allegations by the Non- Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU)that some members of the Union were being victimized and denied promotion even as their proposed strike failed woefully.
Speaking on a live programme, “Matters Arising”on Oodua 99.9fm Radio Station earlier today, the Deputy Director, Vice Chancellor’s Office, Mr. Moses Iyanda and Head, Directorate of Public Relations, Mr. Kola Adepoju disclosed that the allegations made by members of the Union were baseless, describing it as a calculated attempt to smear the image and achievements of the outgoing Vice Chancellor,Prof.Felix Kolawole Salako and his team, as well as to disrupt the relative peace in the University.
It would be recalled that NASU had on Monday October 24, 2022 commenced a seven-day warning strike over spurious allegations of Management undue interference in the Union and victimization,among others.
But the strike flopped as NASU member shunned the industrial action and remained at their duty posts.
Reacting to the allegations, the University Spokesman, Mr. Kola Adepoju disclosed that the strike is a case of dead on arrival because it turned out to be ineffective and a total fluke because it doesn’t represent the interest of NASU members in general but that of a very few who are on misplaced and misguided vendetta on Management and the Vice Chancellor in particular, for refusing to compromise standard.
He said the allegations by leadership of the Union accusing the management of undue interference in its activities, instigation and victimisation of members, promotion denial, arbitrary arrest of members, suspension of NASU members are mischievous , stating that Management is transparent and fair to all Unions.
The Head Public Relations wondered where the allegation of anti-NASU and victimisation of leaders and members levelled on Management was coming from when the latter just upgraded 65 members of the Union, among other welfare drive.
According to him, “Allegation by one or two and not all executives of NASU that the Vice Chancellor is anti-NASU is baseless because currently about 65 members of the union are celebrating their upgrading which was done by the Vice Chancellor and that is like the highest so far in the history of the University so what are they saying.This is nothing but “awada keri keri”( comedy of sort).
“Similarly, the Chairman of the Association, Comrade Samson Edivri just got his promotion thus contradicting his comment here in this studio yesterday that Management is anti-NASU”, he added.
Contrary to the claim of the Union that a national officer was victimised and denied promotion,Adepoju debunked it describing it as another tissue of misinformation.
He disclosed with evidence that the said national officer while writing a computer base competence test like his other colleagues seeking promotion from CONTISS 13 to 14 sent his answer script to a wrong mail address and as such did not deliver for marking thereby leading to his failure of the test.
Mr. Adepoju also noted that the Union refused to follow an internal arrangement before resolving to go on strike, stating that there are labour procedures that must be followed before declaring strike.
He said, “There are labour procedures that must be followed by following an internal arrangement and having a discussion with the Management because labour procedure states that 21 days notice must be given ahead of any strike, followed by 14 days and then 7 days,but none of the procedures was observed by NASU
Also speaking,the Deputy Registrar, Vice Chancellor’s Office,Mr.Moses Ayanda described as spurious the claim of the branch Chairman of NASU that some members were manhandled for allowing a power generating set to go off in the Vice Chancellor’s Lodge whereas they put it off because it was running out of fuel.
Debunking the claim,Ayanda produced a 45 mins footage as evidence that the erring NASU members deliberately put off the generator for ease of access to attack the Vice Chancellor and members of his family who were at home at the time of the incidence.
He explained that the fact that there was strike at the time of the incident should not be seen by any striking staff as opportunity to attack the Vice Chancellor’s at his official lodge.
According to him, “if you are going on strike and you leave your official jurisdiction to the Vice Chancellor’s residence then it has gone beyond strike. As a university, there is a procedure for disciplinary action”
He wondered why the Leadership of NASU still went ahead to declare strike when meetings were held with the leaders of the Union,moreso that Management pleaded with them to call off the proposed strike, in order to mutually address the contentious issues.
Ayanda stressed that instead of listening to the voice of reasoning ,the executives of the Union neglected the deliberations and went ahead to publicise the strike action in the media, though it eventually flopped
He stated that at the meeting, it was agreed that the University Management will constitute a committee that will look into the issues with a view to reaching a mutual understanding, adding that the national leader assured the Management that it will hold a Congress to discuss with the members before embarking on the strike being proposed.
He however said Management was surprised to see news making the round in the media that the Union would embark on strike despite its initial agreement with them to the contrary.
The memo from NASU headquarters revealed that Management received the notice for the strike very late revealing that while the letter was dated October 7, 2022, the Management received it on October 20, 2022, and the strike started on the October 24, 2022 ,contrary to labour procedure on declaration of strike.