Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
Aggrieved lecturers of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) branch of Federal University, Oye Ekiti, yesterday, passed a vote of no confidence in the leadership of the zonal chairman of the union, Prof. Olufayo Olu Olu, for allegedly blackmailing the ASUU branch of the institution.
Identifying themselves as Forum of Concerned Academics (FCA), FUOYE, the academics said they have lost confidence in the Akure zonal executive, adding that if the situation lingers, they would use all available conventional avenues to assert their responsibility and defend their image.
The aggrieved team, led by Prof. Sola Omotola, its chairman and Dr. Wasiu Oyedokun Alli, spokesman, with other members, while addressing newsmen, in Ado-Ekiti, further distanced themselves from the last press briefing, held in Akure, Ondo State, last Thursday. “We are worried by the silence of the NEC on the ASUU FUOYE crisis,” they said.
In his reaction, Olufayo denied the allegation that he was meddling in FUOYE’s affairs and taking steps that could undermine the university’s management and academic staff. He said the lecturers lack the locus standi to pass vote of no confidence in him.
The ASUU zonal leader added that he inherited the struggle to reposition FUOYE from his predecessor, and that it would be wrong for his colleagues in the institutions to brand him as agent of destruction or unnecessarily antagonistic to authorities.
He said: “We did not mean to cause crisis in the university, but, we became confrontational when the vice chancellor started victimising those who were fighting for good governance in FUOYE. Two lecturers were sacked and they are now in the court of law.”
The body debunked the claims by Zonal ASUU on the appointment of professors without PhDs in FUOYE and said such a thing never happened, but, the case in questions was that of Prof. Borokini, who had presented his inaugural lecture in May 2015, but became a professor at Benson Idahosa University in 2012, and now coming to FUOYE as a professor as the third leg of his professorial career.
On suspension of Omonijo without pay, FUOYE FCA noted that Omonijo deserved to be suspended without pay, adding that he had since appeared before an investigative committee of council, where he was asked to do two things.
According to the FUOYE academics, FUOYE is a nascent but fast-growing university whose management deserves commendation for the giant strides it has taken to make the institution leapfrog its contemporaries in many aspects.
They condemned Akure ASUU zonal leadership for their alleged self-serving blackmail and destruction of the university in FUOYE, which they said is totally unacceptable to them.
“If the vice chancellor is sure of himself, let him allow an independent panel from the Federal Ministry of Education to probe all our allegations to lay this lingering crisis to rest.”
On his alleged refusal to step down as ASUU EKSU, one year after the expiration of his tenure, Olufayo said: “They have no right to meddle into EKSU’s issue.”
“I was to leave last year May, but I had an accident in April and I was hospitalised. I was in the hospital when the ASUU strike began and ended in February, so how would I hold election under such circumstance?
“I am not a sit tight person. Very soon, election will be held and my successor will emerge. Let me also say that no blackmail will stop me from fighting for good governance in FUOYE,” he said.