There was a mild drama at the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) on Tuesday, as two non-academic staff unions of the tertiary institution, organised rallies in favour and against the suspension of the vice chancellor of the institution, Professor Olusola Oyewole, by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.
The vice chancellor, had in a letter dated May 5, 2017 and signed by the Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Dr. Hussaini Adamu, been suspended from office.
Oyewoler, whose five year tenure expires on May 23,, however, defied the letter of suspension and reported for work at his office on Monday.
But members of Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) in FUNAAB, gathered separately within the campus, to express their support and opposition to the embattled VC.
While NASU members converged on the open space in front of the Senate Building, to eulogise feats recorded by by Oyewole and condemned his suspension by the education minister, SSANU members organised what they called ‘celebration of the inglorious exit of Oyewole’.
At the SSANU secretariat, a musician was on the band stand performing with members dancing, while fied bean cakes (akara) and hot pap (ogi) were served to the audience.
Speaking at the event, chairman of SSANU, FUNAAB chapter, Olurotimi Fasuwon, said “the event was organised to coincide with the shameful end and unceremonious exit of Prof. Oyewole as Vice Chancellor of our once glorious university and to give a dossier of the backwardness which he brought upon the university”.
But in contrary to SSANU’s claims, the NASU chairman in the university, Isiaq Odunjo, absolved Oyewole of any wrongdoing. He said NASU organised the solidarity to condemn the purported suspension of the VC.
He added that after critical study, examination and analysis of of laws governing the university system in Nigeria, the union concluded that the suspension of Oyewole was “nothing but absolute illegality”
Odunjo, who described the action of the minister of education as usurping the responsibility of the university Governing-Council, pointed out “the said letter is manifestation of executive lawlessness and abuse of office on the part of the minister”.