Scores of workers of the Osun State University and their colleagues from some public universities in the South West including the University of Ibadan on Wednesday staged a protest against the alleged high handedness and abuse of office by the Vice Chancellor of UNIOSUN, Prof. Labode Popoola.
The workers, who gathered at the main gate of the university sang anti-management songs and called for the removal of the Vice Chancellor who they accused of corruption and highhandedness.
The protesting workers later moved from the university through Osogbo Township Stadium to the popular Olaiya Junction where they stopped and sang for about 20 minutes before they moved towards the Governor’s Office. The protesters, who were armed with placards with various anti-management inscriptions were members of the Senior Staff Association of Universities; National Association of Academic Technologists and the Non Academic Staff Union.
They accused the Popoola led-management of buying a sports utility vehicle worth N69 million for the Chairman of the UNIOSUN Governing Council, Mallam Yusuf Ali SAN while refusing to accede to the legitimate demands of the workers. The Chairman of SSANU, Mr. Lekan Adiat and his NASU counterpart, Mr. Isaiah Fayemi, who addressed journalists called for the removal of the VC and asked the Governing Council to make public the report of Prof. Solomon Akinboye panel which probed the allegations against the VC.
Adiat said, ” We demand the official release of Prof. Solomon Akinboye led committee’s report to the public. “We demand the immediate dissolution of the compromised Governing Council led by Mallam Yusuf Ali SAN.
” We also demand the removal of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Labode Popoola in view of his act of gross misconduct and ABU’s of office and abuse of trust.” The workers had last week staged a similar protest against the VC based on the invitation of some of the Union leaders to appear before a Staff Disciplinary Committee. The Vice Chancellor of the university had said the union leaders were angry because he had blocked the ways through which they were allegedly stealing from the system.
The VC said, “For how long will the Nigerian media celebrate the shenanigans of these unscrupulous few? If you care to know, UNIOSUN workers are not fighting me. We are dealing with a bunch of self-serving individuals trying to evade disciplinary process, and now hiding under unionism. “They wrote a spurious petition against me in an attempt to evade disciplinary action on fraud some of them committed before I became the VC. I was investigated and exonerated because the allegations were baseless. “They still want their lies to be taken as the truth. Please do an investigative journalism about the rot we are fighting at UNIOSUN for which these characters who have no business being in a university are resisting.”