Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



  • A Call for Solidarity Action

By Abbey Trotsky, Coordinator CDWR, Oyo State

Since Monday 15th August, 2016, four leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) at rhe Federal College of Agriculture (FCA) Moor Plantation, Ibadan Chapter have been placed on an indefinite suspension without pay by Dr. B. A Adelekan led management.

The suspension of the academic staff is partly connected to the alleged assumption that ASUP (FCA Ibadan Chapter) is behind the petitions sent to anti-graft agencies like ICPC and EFCC which are currently investigating the Provost and some other key officers of FCA Ibadan on various allegations of corruption.

The four suspended Academic staffs; Jokanola Olufemi; Oluade Eyitayo; Adekunle Adenike and Awogbade Adeyemi, are Chairman; Secretary; P.R.O and Internal Auditor of the College’s Chapter of ASUP respectively.

It must be noted that, for some time now, there has been running battle between the Dr. B. A. Adelekan-led administration and Academic staffs of the College over the decision of the staff to join ASUP. The academic staff members used to belong the Academic Staff Union of College of Agriculture (ASUCA). However, they have joined ASUP on the ground that ASUCA was inactive and continued to be an unregistered union.

Despite the existence of ASUCA for more than several years, members had nothing practical to show for it either in terms of protection of both the economic and democratic rights or accountability of about N10,000 to N20,000 levies members were charged for the purpose of registering ASUCA by its national leadership which then had Dr. Adelekan, the current provost, as the Chapter’s Secretary for years.

The academic staff of the FCA Ibadan met with the representatives from other colleges of Agriculture on the 10th of June, 2014 at the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure in Ondo State, South-Western part of Nigeria over various issues that largely border on the ASUCA’s registration. Following this meeting, was a general meeting of Academic staff of FCA, Moor plantation, Ibadan purposely organised to sample opinions over whether to remain in ASUCA or to move to ASUP as specified by the stakeholder’s meeting in Akure earlier. The decision to join ASUP was overwhelmingly adopted with 61 out of 68 academic staff strength signing to join ASUP, five abstained (due to non-presence at the meeting for various reasons) while Dr. Adelekan was the only one who signed to remain in ASUCA.

Worthy to note that, the Management under the leadership of Dr. T. A. Adegbulude, the former acting Provost, accepted the decision of the Academic staff in FCA, Ibadan to join ASUP until Dr. Adelekan was appointed as the substantive Provost of the College in January 2015. There have been several efforts by Dr. Adelekan-led administration to undermine the activities and existence of ASUP since the inception of his term. Notably among cases of victimisation is ASUP-FCA branch Secretary, Mr Eyitayo Oluade who was issued three queries in a day for alleged unruly language in a Union’s letter to the Provost. Some members of the executives were also issued various query letters for laughable offences. The same Secretary was also sent out of the promotional examination hall in 2015 (same exam he was dully qualified, invited and screened for) with the use of armed security men from the Department of State Services (DSS) therefore denying him of his legitimate promotion. Finally, on 15th August, 2016, four of the branch executives were placed on indefinite suspension without pay by Dr. Adelekan-led Management of FCA. These forms of attacks on democratic rights were not left unchallenged by Academic staff of the College. At first they embarked on an indefinite suspension of lecture which lasted for eight weeks before its suspension later agreed upon at the ASUP-FCA congress.

Following the suspension of the 8 weeks industrial action, Dr Adenekan has started to roll out some concessions like approval of long overdue conference fund for the academic staff and issuance of letter of promotion. The motive behind these concessions is to assuage the growing anger of workers In view of this, there is a need for holistic programmes of actions with slogans and strategies that will continue to sustain the existing unity and cohesion among the academic staff as a step towards defeating the Management.

So far, the indefinite suspension placed on the four union leaders is being challenged at the National Industrial Court (NIC) in Ibadan. However, the initiated legal battle must be complemented with a well-drawn political plan of action which will include press conferences, protests, public symposium, production and circulation of agitation materials to build public support for the struggle and engage in other activities aimed at winning reinstatement of suspended staff, end all forms of victimisation and other demands of workers.

We call on all individuals, labour and human rights activists and organisations to support the struggle of the academic staffs of the FCA by sending protest message or calling the numbers below or sending protest letter to the email addresses below:

Minister of Agriculture and water Resources, Tel: 08030820002; 08077150275; 08126631221. Email:[email protected]; [email protected]

Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Tel: 08161118681

Pls send copies of the protest letter to [email protected]

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