BY ABIODUN NEJO
Some lecturers at Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE) have expressed displeasure over alleged smear campaign against the institution’s leadership by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The lecturers, who accused ASUU, Akure Zone of plotting to bring down FUOYE ASUU and as well the institution through accusations of corruption and appointment racketeering leveled against the Vice Chancellor, Prof Kayode Soremekun, said they had resolved to dissociate with ASUU.
The lecturers opposed to ASUU’s position, led by Dr. A. Akinsoranti and Barrister Ayodeji Ige, told journalists in Ado Ekiti that they had joined a parallel body called Congress of Nigeria Academics (CNA).
They said: “Since they are out to destroy ASUU here in FUOYE, we have opted out and we will embrace the alternative platform, Congress of Nigeria Academics (CNA)”.
The aggrieved lecturers, who spoke in reaction to a press briefing addressed recently by ASUU, Akure Zone, through the zonal Coordinator and Chairman of the union in Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, Prof. Olu-Olu Olufayo, where it alleged that there were pervasive pension fraud and irregular recruitment in FUOYE, among other startling allegations.
Olufayo had, at the conference, accused FUOYE management of promoting academic staff without following due process and as well failed to remit pension funds to workers in line with the Federal Government’s directive.
Soremekun had, however, denied the allegation, saying the council and the Senate were aware of every appointment made and that pensions were deducted directly from the office of the Accountant General of the Federation and not the university.
Speaking further, the angry lecturers described the union’s position as an attempt to smear Prof. Soremekun’s reputation.
Akinsoranti said FUOYE had been leading and setting the pace among the 12 universities established in 2010 by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He accused the ASUU Chairman in FUOYE, Dr Akinyemi Omonijo, of running
the union like a ‘cult’, saying the press conference he attended with the zonal ASUU where they made scathing allegations against the VC was “not authorized by members and that the positions canvassed by zonal ASUU were baseless.
“We wish to state clearly that the press conference of October 4, purportedly addressed by Zonal ASUU on behalf of our members was not only false but misleading. It is only the congress that can authorize such and thus unfortunately was not the case.
“The smear campaign was a handiwork of an individual backed by a cabal which seeks to mislead the public and cause disaffection in FUOYE, which is still a young university.
“The press conference showed the failure of ASUU to abide by simple norm of consultation before confrontation. Let me also state that some of the issues raised have been tackled by the management. The allegations raised by Zonal ASUU was devoid of facts, lacking in merit and a product of perverted mind.
“We hereby dissociate ourselves from this attack coming from a minority among us”, he said.
Corroborating Akinsoranti, Ige said: “Those opposed to the management are in the minority group. They knew that the governing council and VC can’t appoint substantive Bursar and Registrar since the former occupant of the seat, Mr Daniel Adeyemo is in court challenging his removal”.