By Geoffrey Bakji
Recently, a piece entitled: “Again, ASUU alleges corruption, mismanagement, tyranny in FUOYE’, was published in The Nigerian Tribune of August 22, 2019. It is unfortunate that the write up in question, attacked without caution, the office and person of Prof. Kayode Soremekun, Vice-Chancellor of Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE)
Thousands of informed and rational readers, expectant of a balanced article in a paper with the historical profile of the Nigerian Tribune, would have consumed the piece.Such readers would be shocked to discover that the said article lacked the requisite perspectives from the other side. Therefore, it is for the sake of such readers and to set the records straight that we are responding to the various indices of misinformation in the said piece.
First, the writer of the piece misinformed the public that FUOYE’s local body of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has again cried out against what the writer mischievously alleged as “impunity and administrative recklessness” of the institution’s management under the VC, Professor Soremekun.The wonder here is:what local body of ASUU was the writer referring to?, This is because at the moment, ASUU in FUOYE is in disarray owing to the unprincipled character of its immediate past chairman, Dr. Akinyemi Omonijo. There are now in fact, several splinter groups of ASUU. And some of them are so disillusioned that they have decided to cast their lot with the management. Some have even decided to form a separate body-distinct from ASUU.
Indeed ASUU in FUOYE has since disowned Omonijo owing to his gross official misconduct that got him suspended in the course of disciplinary procedures which revealed that he made wild and unsubstantiated allegations against the University management. His several misdeeds which created bad blood among lecturers in the institution led to ASUU members losing confidence in his leadership and subsequently rejecting him. Several publications in the dailies constitute clear evidence of these exposé.
Secondly, the writer of the one-sided piece claimed that the ASUU Zonal body, Akure, raised concerns at a press briefing about “perceived docility of the Federal Government in acting on the allegations of administrative recklessness earlier raised against the VC, and the failure to constitute a visitation panel to the university to “correct all ills and anomalies”. But one wonders if this writer thinks that the Federal Government would be so naive that it would pay attention to such unfounded lies when indeed, the VC had, in several counter press briefings, adequately replied such falsehood raised against him.
Moreover, there have been many laughable allegations by the Zonal ASUU leadership which had been proved to be mere falsehood and lies from the pit of hell. For instance,there was the allegation that the VC bought many buildings in the capital city of Ado-Ekiti, and also got involved in pension jerk ups all of which were found to be untrue as none of these accusers have been able to come up with any evidence of such property belonging to the VC.Meanwhile pension deductions of all FUOYE staff are duties performed only by revenue bodies in government outside the university management’s purview.
The writer of the piece also reminded his readers about a March 5, 2019 press briefing where ASUU purportedly raised an alarm on the VC’s alleged “rule of tyranny…other sundry allegations bordering on academic patronage, financial mismanagement, rotten state of infrastructure, and students’ welfare “,. Again, here lies the insincerity and misleading nature of such claims.For while the Zonal ASUU,Akure and the suspended Omonijo, are yet to produce incontrovertible evidence for such malicious allegations against the VC; by contrast, such evidence exists against Omonijo and his two accomplices.These two accomplices are Dr Niyi Ajisafe Akingbe and Dr. Olugbenga Adeyemi.These two i.e,Akingbe and Adeyemi have since been dismissed from the University for gross misconduct. The former for the inglorious act of PLAGIARISM and misuse of Tetfund funds, and the latter also, for the misuse of Tetfund funds.
In fact, the genesis of Omonijo’s self imposed war against FUOYE’s management began when as local chairman of ASUU, he requested a contract job from the university and the Procurement Officer refused him as such arrangement runs foul of the university policy and ASUU’ s own well known ethics and regulation.
On the issue of poor infrastructure in FUOYE; while this is not peculiar feature to the institution, there are incontrovertible pieces of evidence that students and lecturers of the university on a daily basis, send WhatsApp messages lauding the ingenuity of Professor Soremekun in providing befitting infrastructural and learning facilities in the twin campuses of the institution.Indeed since he assumed office, the Vice Chancellor can boast of having initiated, built and still building over 40 projects. Those structures are not ghosts.Rather they dot the expansive landscape of the university for any curious eye to behold!.
An attestation to the VC’s outstanding performance is a recent award of excellence garlanded him by FUOYE’s Students’ Union Government (SUG) in recognition of his unprecedented contribution to improved learning conditions, increased accreditation of programmes leading in turn to numerical expansion and infrastructural development in the school.
On the issue raised about the Acting Bursar of the school, it will be recalled that the former Bursar died suddenly in 2017, and shortly after that, the then Chairman of the University Council, resigned and to that extent there was a vacuum.On this note, it is instructive to appreciate that only the Council is responsible for setting in motion the process of appointing a substantive Bursar. And it was only recently that the Federal Government , appointed a new Chairman for the Governing Council. Pray! , How does this development amount to administrative recklessness and violations of University statutes on the part of the VC?
Truth of the matter is that ASUU of Akure Zone is just crying wolf because of the nemesis that caught up with three of its members: Omonijo, Akingbe and Adeyemi who were justifiably punished by FUOYE authorities for committing the aforementioned heinous crimes. lt is tragic however, that ASUU which should be the standard bearer of intellectual integrity is now seen to be backing individuals who PLAGIARIZE and play fast and loose with TETFFUND funds.
We would like to advise the Zonal ASUU, Akure, to live up to expectations and emulate exemplary leaders like; Professors Olorode, Fashina, Jega and Asobie who have paid their dues to the union without any damage to their respective reputations.
One would not go as far as to describe the ASUU ZONAL leadership as a bunch of cretins.Still what we have on our hands is a sad development.And this quickly reminds one of that famous book titled: “‘Not a Lincoln but a Ford”.
Bakji writes from: firstname.lastname@example.org