Despite efforts to pull out of the ongoing national strike, the management of Ekiti State University now faces the wrath of its striking lecturers (ASUU-EKSU).
On Monday the 23rd of May 2022, a communiqué was released by the Directorate of Information which reads in part:
“…The Management noted the pains being experienced by students and parents as a result of the ongoing protracted industrial action. It noted further that one academic session (2021/2022) of admission is still outstanding, while the second semester of the 2020/2021 academic session is yet to be concluded. Moreover, the admission process for the 2022/2023 academic session will commence soonest.
“Consequently, in the interest of the students, parents, guardians and indeed the society at large as well as the survival of the university, Management decided to reopen the institution for normal academic activities with effect from Tuesday, 24th May 2022.”
While students received the news with mixed reactions, the ASUU-EKSU Chairman, Dr K. K. Arogundade urged the public to disregard the news in a counter press release.
“Arising from a special executive meeting of the Academic Staff Union of University, Ekiti State University branch (ASUU-EKSU) on 23rd May 2022, where the current strike action was discussed. It is hereby affirmed that the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) members, Ekiti State University branch is in full compliance with the national strike.
“The instruction handed down by the Vice-chancellor in a meeting with the committee of Deans that all academic staff should resume activities should be disregarded,” the report said.
According to the press release signed by the Union Chairman and Secretary, Dr K. K. Arogundade and Dr O. D. Ogunwale, respectively, a withheld source from the Ekiti State Government revealed that the visitor to the university mandated the Vice-chancellor, Prof. Edward Olanipekun to re-open the university within 24 hours or forfeit his job.
With claims that this action was a ploy and has a political undertone, parents and their wards were warned of the imminent danger of returning to school, especially as the 2022 Ekiti State election draws near.
“ASUU-EKSU wishes to use the medium to announce to the general public that mandating the re-opening of the University is purely political and EKSG is not ready to attend to the demand of the University.
Also, it is worth noting that ASUU-EKSU Executive Members have been receiving threats from various government agents and the University management.
“In view of this, the general public is hereby notified and put on alert to the threats, that if any harm is inflicted on any member of the ASUU-EKSU Executives, the Ekiti State government and University management should be held responsible.
Parents are to monitor the movement of their wards who are the main target to be used as thugs in the coming election hence the resumption saga.”
In its defence, the school management (via the Directorate of Information) reacted to the statement of ASUU-EKSU, giving reasons for its decision.
“Management wishes to enjoin the leadership of ASUU-EKSU to show understanding as the decision to reopen the University was taken to avert further aggravation of the challenges confronting it and should not be seen as a ploy to undermine the ongoing struggle by the staff unions for the betterment of the university system.
As earlier pointed out, the internally generated revenue in the university has continued to dwindle each day the school does not open and if care is not taken, it will get to a stage where the University will not be able to meet up with its obligations. Like the saying goes: “A stitch in time saves nine” hence, there can’t be any better time than now for the University to re-open its gate for resumption of normal academic activities,” said its correspondent and Head of the Directorate, Bode Olofinmuagun.
In an effort to know the possibility of renegotiation between both parties, the ASUU-EKSU Chairman, in an interview, reiterated the Union’s stand to remain in full compliance with the national strike, saying: “I am sure you have read enough publications from us.”
These recent developments, thus show that the date of resumption is undecided. It clearly indicates that the school management had not made consultations with the ASUU-EKSU and reached a consensus before directing the reopening of the school.
However, the President of the Students’ Union body assured that all matters would be resolved hoping that students resume back to school soon.
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