UNIOSUN shuts down over unions, management crisis

May 30/2018 10:51

Osun State University (UNIOSUN)
The management of the Osun State University on Monday announced the closure of the institution, following what it referred to as “the notorious activities of some non-teaching staff members”.

A statement signed by the Registrar of the school, Gafar Adebayo Shittu, said the governing council of the institution had approved its closure “with immediate effect”.

The statement said the non-teaching members of staff of the institution were involved ”in unwholesome activities under the guise of unionism”.

The Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU); Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), had been at loggerheads with the management of the institution over the suspension of 10 of members.

They have been engaged in series of protests which was extended to Monday at the university campus amidst lectures.

They also embarked on a three-week strike, which was called off in April, but they had continued to agitate for other entitlements which were allegedly denied them by the Vice Chancellor and the school’s management.

The unions also called for the probe of the Vice Chancellor, Labo Popoola, for alleged mismanagement of N106 million. They also urged Mr Popoola to account for over N3 billion ”handed over to the him by his predecessor”.

Stating reasons for the closure, Mr Shittu said the activities of the unions ”posed a danger to the lives and properties within and around the university campuses”.

“Management wishes to sincerely apologise to parents, guardians and students for any inconveniences that this closure may cause,” it said.

“Efforts are geared towards addressing the prevalent lawlessness, finally.

“We urge our law abiding staff and students to remain calm and stay away from the campuses in the mean time.”

Responding to the development, the Chairman of NASU in the institution, Isaiah Fayemi, told PREMIUM TIMES that the statement by the Registrar was misleading.

“We have been protesting in the school, and it has been peaceful, so to say that we are making the place unsafe is not true,” he said.

Mr Fayemi noted that the unions also embarked on a peaceful protest on Monday even when lectures were ongoing, and ”nothing was amiss”.

“As I am speaking to you now, 10 of our members have been suspended because we exposed the fraudulent activities of the management,” he stated.

“They want to sack us by all means, that is what they want to do, but we are protesting and we are doing that peacefully.”

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