By Gbenga Sodeinde, Ado Ekiti

Following the sack of ten members of staff? by the management of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti for alleged unruly behaviour, the workers? on Thursday closed down the institution? in protest and disrupted commercial activities in the town.

The workers , who started the protest at about 7am blocked the road leading to the University from the heart of the town and made bonfires, thereby? creating atmosphere of tension, calling on the Vice? Chancellor, Prof Isaac Asuzu to rescind the action for normalcy to return.

The protesters locked all the offices in the University and prevented lecturers from attending to students .

It took the intervention of a detachment of soldiers to disperse the protesters, who closed the main gate of the University and other offices that were later broken by anti-riot policemen before? Prof Asuzu and other management staff , who were escorted amidst tight security could gain entry.

The leaders of the protest and? victims , Mr Foluso Ojo and Miss Obadore Kemisola, who were Executive Officers in the University, contended that the management erred in sacking them for? leading aprotest to? demand for their rights.

But Prof? Asuzu, who defended the action said the University took the action to prevent few individuals from destabilizing the university, saying the action he took was in consonance with the recommendations of the Prof? Omoleyin-led panel set up to try the alleged offenders.

Prof Asuzu said there was no discrimination in the trial of the alleged offenders as claimed by the victims.

It would be recalled that workers of the University had on December 18, 2014 trooped to the streets of Oye Ekiti, urging the University to stop alleged outrageous? tax deduction , halt? National Housing Fund? deduction, confirmation of? staff appointments,? among other demands.
Describing the action as illegal and high point of wickedness, Ojo said what they demanded from the management were confirmation of staff appointments, promotion of staff and stop deduction on the National Housing Fund, among other issues.

He expressed dismay that ?the memo they gave us on January 26, 2015? only invited us for interaction on how we can solve the problems in the university. And I want to point out that our protest was based on the recommendations of Prof Aganga-led panel, which recommended that some of our demands should be looked into.

?But rather than to do that, the management tricked us to a meeting and started subjecting us to trial rather than interaction that was contained in the memo.

?The outcome of the panel showed serious bias against us. Some of those who partook in the protest were exonerated by the management because of the influence of the Vice Chancellor.

?We are calling on President Goodluck Jonathan and the Minister of Education, Mallam? Ibrahim Shekarau to ask the management to rescind its action in the interest of peace because the workers will not resume until this ill-treatment and illegality is reversed?.

Prof Asuzu said the 6-member panel duly interacted? with the sacked workers before arriving at the action, saying nobody was discriminated against on the basis of ethnicity as being peddled around.

The Vice Chancellor said: ?No responsible leader will fold his arms and allow few individuals to hold the school to ransome. This is an academic environment , where people should display high sense of modesty and intellectualism rather than thuggery and brigandage.

?They are not supposed to protest at all because their appointments have not been confirmed. And the delay in this confirmation was not our own making. The FG has not set up the Governing Council that has the power to do so.

?We are not particular about sack but we expected them to have shown remorse, but rather than this, they were molesting and threatening members of staff around . As a responsible leader , I won?t condone lawlessness and distraction because I want to? develop thisuniversity?, he said


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