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- May suspend indefinite strike soon
By Gabriel Dike
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has rejected the sack of the Lagos State University (LASU) branch chairman and his vice over alleged misconduct.
The union alleged that the decision did not follow due process and was manipulated for political reasons as members of the Governing Council did not see copy of the report nor was it discussed at the council meeting last week.
Prof Adebayo Ninolowo-led Governing Council had on Thursday approved the recommendations of the Joint council/senate committee and sacked 17 staff including ASUU-LASU chairman, Dr. Isaac Oyewunmi and his vice, Dr. Adebowale Adeyemi-Suenu for alleged misconduct.
Addressing newsmen in LASU, ASUU Zonal Coordinator, Lagos Zone, Prof Olusiji Sowande, condemned the decision of the council to dismiss the branch chairman and his vice.
However, a drama played out at the venue as some members opposed the briefing insisting their views were not sought before newsmen where invited and backed the sack of the chairman and his vice. For over one hour, the aggrieved members stood their ground and delayed the take off of the briefing.
The Dean, Faculty of Arts, Prof Leke Fakoya, Dr Patrick Adegbuyi and others vehemently opposed the briefing by the zone on the sack of the duo and defended the decision of the governing council.
Majority of members at the congress queued behind the sacked chairman and his vice and the decision of the Lagos zone to brief the press on the position of ASUU. Senior Professors calmed the situation and appealed for unity among members.
Sowande descried the sack of the duo as an assault on the union adding ‘’we have reports that the council secretariat was instructed not to circulate the report of the disciplinary cases to members of the council for consideration, even on the floor of the meeting.
He continued: ‘’We are aware too that the reports presented by the chair of the joint senate/council committee on disciplinary matters did not reflect the deliberations and decisions reached at the panels, hence the hurried PowerPoint presentation made on the floor of the council’s meeting.’’
The zonal coordinator condemned the attempts by university management to forcefully eject the chairman and his vice from the union’s secretariat as well as university premises and also rejected plan to change the leadership of the union.
Dr. Dele Seteolu, Political Science Department and Dr. Olusola Sokefun, backed the action of the zone and condemned the call for dissolution of the exco. Both stated that council decision to dismiss the duo was manipulated.
The two lecturers said the sack of the duo is an attempt by the management and external forces to hijack the union stating that members, zone and the national body would not allow it.
Meanwhile, indications emerged on Wednesday that the four-week old indefinite strike by ASUU may be suspended soon as various branches are voting (referendum) based on Federal Government offer.
Branch chairmen yesterday presided over congress to determine whether to suspend the strike and are expected to submit the outcome tomorrow at National Executive Council (NEC) in Abuja.
At the emergency NEC on tomorrow decision will be taken whether to suspend the strike or continue but several members of the union told Daily Sun that they are in favour of suspending the industrial action.