Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

FCA IBADAN: Workers Insist on Total Implementation of FG Directives

FCA IBADAN: Workers Insist on Total Implementation of FG Directives

A Total Victory is Possible With a More Concerted Struggle!

By Caleb Caleb ERC – FCA, Ibadan

Workers at the Federal College of Agriculture FCA, Moor plantation, Ibadan Oyo State, who commenced an indefinite strike/mass action on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 to demand the immediate and unconditional implementation of the directive given to the provost of the college by the Federal government, have continued to insist that the struggle will continue despite the fact that a letter of reinstatement was issued by Dr Adelekan-led management of the College to victimised staff until when there is a total implementation of the entire directive in contention.

It must be recalled that the Dr. B.A Adelekan-led management of the College had placed four academic staff of the College on indefinite suspension without pay since 15th August, 2016. These members of staff are Jokanola Olufemi, Oluade Eyitayo, Adekunle Adenike and Awogbade Adeyemi. They were suspended for providing courageous leadership to the collective decision of academic staff in the college to move from the Academic Staff Union of the College of Agriculture (ASUCA) to the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP).

After several months of consistent political agitation and legal struggle, the Federal government was forced to intervene through the office of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, who set up a committee that facilitated a peace meeting between the leadership of the ASUP-FCA and management of the College in Abuja on the 25th October, 2016.

The recommendations of this committee were later endorsed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. This formed the basis of the directive which was communicated to the Dr. Adelekan-led Management of the FCA, Ibadan through a letter dated 16th December, 2016 with Ref. number AGR/909/1 and signed by Mrs. Shobowale, A. A., the DHR FMA&RD.

This directive stipulates among other things that the Dr. Adelekan-led Management of the College must immediately lift the suspension order without pay arbitrarily placed on four academic staff in the College since 15th August, 2016.

Other directives contained in the said letter are that: (1) all queries issued to the union executives on the basis of their activities in the union must be withdrawn; (2) no staff must be denied participation in promotion exercise except those with disciplinary case against them; (3) all outstanding salaries, promotion arrears, conference allowances and other benefits denied or owed the union executives must be paid; (4) last promotion exercise conducted without the representatives of the Ministry (FMA&RD) is null and void (a new date should be fixed in due course); (5) the membership of ASUP and its activities should continue pending the recommendation of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment while the union executives should also apologise to the College Management for their role in the crisis.

Following the issuance of these FG directives, the executive of ASUP-FCA wrote an apology letter as directed, yet, Dr. Adelekan-led Management has not only refused to comply with the directives of the Federal Government but has also gone ahead to launch a fresh attack on other members of ASUP-FCA executive.

It is this kind of recalcitrant attitude and continuous refusal of the provost that triggered the latest industrial action that has crippled both the academic and administrative in the college since February 21, 2017.

This struggle which was declared by the officers from both the national and zonal secretariats of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) with the support of sister unions like NASU, ASUU, SSANU and ASUP in neighbouring institutions like IAR&T and College of Animal Science has grown tremendously in terms of influence and demands. The FCA leadership of NASU has also been forced to join the struggle by the pressure from the rank and file many of whom were also part of the struggle the day it was declared.

All the classrooms and administrative offices has been completely locked with both the academic and administrative activities completely shut down as workers converge on daily basis in front of the administrative office where they hold mass meeting to discuss the struggle and ways to deepen it after which they sing and dance to make the struggle lively and more participatory. None of the management staff of the college including the Provost has been able to enter the college since the struggle broke out. This kind of exceptional determination and zeal that workers in the College have continued to demonstrate has helped to frustrate the plan by the security agencies like police, Civil defence Corps and Department of State Security (DSS) to use all forms of gimmicks and tricks to undermine the struggle which now demands for the sack of Dr. Babajide Adelekan as the Provost of the College.

Right now the Dr. Adelekan-led management has been forced to issue reinstatement letters for the recall of the four suspended staff. But this has not pacified the mass of the striking workers as they continue to insist on the total and complete implementation of the entire FG directives in which reinstatement of the suspended staff is just one of it.

As we go to press, workers agitation and occupation of the college still continues while a barricade at the entrance of the administrative building remains intact. Members of the Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Right (CDWR), a pro-labour campaign platform of Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) have been playing a lot of leading roles since the inception of the struggle in 2016.

In conclusion, the fact that the Dr. Adelekan-led management of the College was forced to issue reinstatement letters to the victimised workers is an indication of the huge prospect of the struggle to win a total victory. This is the reason we of CDWR and DSM hereby urge striking workers not to relent but make sure that the struggle continues until their demands are totally acceded to.