The academic crisis between members of Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) and the institution’s management deepened yesterday following an allegation that the management had employed new teachers to replace the 45 sacked ones.
The aggrieved workers are now demanding for the immediate removal of the University Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola, alleging that he failed to follow due processing in employing the new teachers.
The 45 FUTA embattled workers were among the over 2000 workers recently sacked from the 30 federal university Staff schools.
However, FUTA NASU’s members as early as 9 a.m yesterday besieged the FUTA Staff School and prevented normal academic activities.
They later locked the gate of the schools as parents were seen rushing to the school to pick up their kids, while those whose parents were unaware of the development were seen playing around the premises.
The workers later sat at the front of the gate, while some were holding placards with different inscriptions such as “No to privatization of federal universities primary schools”, “No to disengagement”, “We say no to appointment of teachers’ ‘ Don’t kill FUTA Staff School”, ‘ We are federal government workers, we say no to re-apply”, Our children’s future is important”, among others.
Policemen were at the scene to prevent break down of law and order.
The FUTA Chairman of NASU, Comrade Adebayo Aladerotohun said the Vice Chancellor has an ulterior motive in the sack of the teachers, explaining that it was only FUTA that had implemented the federal government order to sack the teachers.
Aladerotohun, who disclosed that the institution had begun recruitment of another set of teachers in the school, alleged that Daramola did not follow due process in the recruitment exercise.
He said, “we are saying no to privatization of staff schools at this point in time because it is not only federal universities that maintain staff schools, navy, army, police and others have their own schools they maintain.
“We also condemn the callousness on the part of the FUTA management to sack the teachers. It is apparent that Prof. Daramola has ulterior motive in this matter beyond what the federal government asked him to do because it is only FUTA that has taken this matter to the extreme.
“He has advertised to Nigerians that he wants to recruit another set of teachers there but we learnt that he has employed his relatives to take up the jobs. We asked him to let the union dialogue with the government but he refused and went ahead to sack the teachers so as to employ inexperience ones.”
He appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to wade into the matter, saying “this is not the change we voted for. He said he would employ 500,000 teachers, but he had started with sacking some.”
However, the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Mr Adegbenro Adebanjo said it was not FUTA management that sacked the teachers, saying the directives came from the federal Ministry of Education in December, 2015 and it affected staff schools in all federal universities in the country.
He said following the instruction of the federal government, the institution had announced of plan to recruit another set of teachers to the school, of which the affected teachers could apply.
He said the management position remained that its actions were guided by the need to ensure that pupils and staff of the primary school were not stranded following the decision of Federal Government to discontinue the payment of the salary of staff of Primary schools being run by Federal Universities and related institutions.
“The management duly advertise for interested persons to apply for positions in the primary school. The advertisement was carried in selected radio and television stations, the university notice boards and website. So it was not something that was done through the back door. It was open and in the public domain. These facts are verifiable.
“Those who applied following due process have been given considerations. It has nothing to do with the Vice Chancellor. And it is totally false and baseless to insinuate any form of favouritism in the recruitment process. Due process was duly followed.
“For the avoidance of doubt, FUTA Management sought the approval of the Governing Council to make the primary school independent of government funding in order to ensure that it is in a position to pay the salaries of teachers and personnel in its employ, whose payment the Federal Government has discontinued.”
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