NASU allegations are frivolous -- FUNAAB management - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Wednesday, October 26, 2022

NASU allegations are frivolous -- FUNAAB management

By Peter Adedoyin

The management of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) had been described all allegations levelled against the outgoing Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Felix Kolawole Salako, by the Non- Academic Staff Union of  Universities (NASU) as baseless and frivolous. 

Speaking on a radio monitored in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, the Deputy Director, Vice Chancellor's Office, Mr. Moses Iyanda and Head, Directorate of Public Relations, Mr. Kola Adepoju said, the allegations made by members of the Union were calculated attempt  to smear the image and achievements Prof. Salako, and as well to disrupt the relative peace in the University.A

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. Adepoju said the strike was a case of 'dead on arrival' because it turned out to be ineffective and a total fluke.

He noted that the strike doesn't represent the interest of NASU members in general, but that of a very few who are on misplaced and misguided vendetta on the management and the Vice Chancellor in particular, for refusing to compromise standard.

He said, the allegations by the 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 the management is transparent and fair to all unions.

Adepoju wondered where the allegation of anti-NASU and victimisation of leaders and members levelled on the management was coming when the latter just upgraded 65 members of the Union, among other welfare drive.

According to him, "the 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 promotion which was done by the Vice Chancellor, which he said is the highest so far in the history of the University".

"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 victimized 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.

Adepoju also noted that the Union refused to follow an internal arrangement before deciding 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 before embarking on strike. They ought to follow an internal arrangement and have 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 minutes 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, but the 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 publicize the strike action in the media, though it eventually flopped".

"At the meeting, it was agreed that the University management will constitute a committee that will look into issues raised 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 the 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 the 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".

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