Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

UNJUST SACKING OF NURSE ABIODUN THOMAS: Ogun College of Health Tech Authorities must Reinstate her Now!

We Call on Labour and Civil Society Organisations to Support the Demand for her Recall and an End to Attacks on Democratic Rights at Ogun Higher Institutions

The unjust sacking of Nurse Abiodun Thomas, a staff with the school clinic of the Ogun state College of Health Technology, Ilese, Ijebu Ode, by the management has again underscored the tyranny that currently reigns in some public higher institution across the state.

By Eko John Nicholas, Coordinator, CDWR, Ogun State

For instance, at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), some workers including Nurse Aishat Ajibola were sacked for demanding  better welfare conditions. Similarly the management of Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE) Omu, Ijebu sacked at least five (5) workers for daring to demand the payment of unpaid salary and allowances of over four(4) years at the inception of the current state administration. The affected TASCE workers including Dr. Daniel Aborisade are still being hounded in different courts on trumped-up charges by the Dapo Abiodun APC-led government!

We demand the immediate reinstatement of Nurse Abiodun Thomas by the authorities of the institution, and all other sacked and victimized workers including those of TASCE and OOUTH. We also demand that all salaries and allowances owed to TASCE workers be paid.

Nurse Abiodun Thomas, who was poisoned allegedly at the school clinic leading to her admission first at the state general hospital Ijebu Ode, where she spent two days before being evacuated to a private facility in Lagos state, where it took months for her recuperation.

It was during this period of her treatment that the school management demanded that she resume to duty, claiming that she had gone on French leave. She was issued a query letter which she responded to on her sick bed. Yet she was dismissed. This was despite the fact that she had formally informed the school management of her dire health conditions, occasioned by the suspected poisoning, and the advice by some principal officers of the institution that she made a formal report and complaints to the Ilese police station, something she did promptly.

The school management was to later turn round to feign ignorance of these steps and accuse her of “externalizing” the issue and painting the college in bad light. This was apparently because some online media platforms got wind of her travails, and published same, condemning the alleged poison incident and also demanding that the school management carry out a thorough investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding it and punish those find culpable. The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR), Ogun state chapter, which Nurse Thomas is a supporter,  also issued press statement in this regards.

The action of the college authorities is a clear case of witch hunting and vindictiveness against Nurse Thomas, who had been at the forefront of struggle in the institution, demanding an end to poor funding of public healthcare and education, better welfare conditions for workers, including the prompt payment owed salaries and allowances. Meeting those demands, she believes, would mitigate some corrupt practices at the college. This pitted her against the vested interests of some individuals, and hence, her travails.

Meanwhile, she has gone to the National Industrial Court to challenge her unjust sacking. We call for different solidarity actions by trade union and civil society activists.

Specifically, we call on the NLC, TUC, NANNM, MHWUN, NMA, NASU, ASUP, NBA, NUAHP, civil society organizations in Ogun state and well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the school management to reinstate her. They should also call on the state government to stop the current reigns of injustice at the aforementioned institutions, immediately reverse the unjust sacking of the workers and accede to their democratic demands.