LASU: CDWR Demands the Immediate Recall of ASUU-LASU 5
The Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights (CDWR) is shocked that a year after an Appeal Committee set up by the University administration recommended the reinstatement of five (5) victimized leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Universities branch of the Lagos State University (ASUU-LASU), the Governor Babajide Sanwolu-led administration of Lagos State through the University’s Governing Council has continued to refuse to implement the recommendation of the panel over one year after.
By Rufus Olusesan, National Chair, CDWR
An Appeal committee set up by the incumbent Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello and headed by Prof. Dapo Asaju to look into labour dispute rocking the University had submitted its report recommending the recall of the ASUU-LASU leaders thereby prompting the University’s Governing Council to grant approval of this recommendation on Wednesday, 23rd February 2022. This was also sequel to the report of a Committee of Council that reviewed the fabricated allegations against them. But in a bizarre turn of event, 48 hours after, the same Governing Council reconvened to put on hold the implementation of its earlier decision apparently following pressure from the Lagos State government. Since then nothing has been heard about the issue while the sacked lecturers continue to suffer an unjust dismissal.
We consider the refusal to recall them a sign of executive lawlessness on the part of the Governor Sanwo-Olu administration and a betrayal of the vow the Governor made in November 2021 when it set up a 10-man visitation panel into LASU with a view to make the institution “the best in terms of quality research, pedagogical and administrative excellence, as well as industrial harmony” (Punch 17 November 2021). We hereby demand the immediate recall of the ASUU-LASU 5 as recommended by the Appeal Committee.
The ASUU-LASU 5, comprising ASUU-LASU chairman, Dr. Akinloye Isaac Oyewumi, Vice chairman, Dr. Adebowale Adeyemi-Suenu, Secretary, Dr. Anthony Dansu, Assistant Secretary, Dr. Adeolu Oluwaseyi Oyekan and Treasurer, Dr. Oluwakemi Aboderin-Shonibare, were sacked by the Prof. Adebayo Ninalowo-led governing council on September 7th and September 12th, 2017 due to their principled opposition to the anti-worker and anti-student policies of the erstwhile Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Lanre Fagbohun. While the Lagos State government has refused to allow them back on campus, rumor that the government is considering appointing their traducer, Prof. Fagbohun, back as a Professor in the University is rife and demonstrates the duplicity of the Lagos State government towards resolving the age-long industrial disharmony plaguing the University.
Meanwhile the reign of silence from the labour movement while the Lagos State government rides roughshod over the rights of the ASUU-LASU 5 in LASU has become too deafening. So far the Lagos Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) headed by Comrade Funmi Sessi has not lifted a finger to speak against the unjust dismissal of these workers leaders. While we acknowledge the interventions of the Lagos NLC council in defending workers in the state especially casual workers in some factories, it leave much to be desired for the NLC Lagos State Council to continue to ignore the case of the ASUU-LASU 5 who are leaders of a branch of an affiliate of the Congress.
An injury to one is an injury to all. We hereby call on the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Lagos and nationally as well as civil society organizations to publicly condemn the Lagos State government for this anti-worker disposition and call on the government to immediately recall the victimized workers. We urge them to organize solidarity actions including petitions, protest and demonstrations to back the call for the recall of ASUU-LASU 5.