The workers of Federal University of Technology, Akure, have vowed to continue their protest until the Vice Chancellor, Adebiyi Daramola, is removed from office.
Members of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and National Association of Academic Technologists of the university had accused Mr. Daramola of corruption and vowed to keep the university locked for as long as he remained in office.
While continuing their protest on Wednesday, the unions insisted that the vice chancellor and the bursar should not remain in office while the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission carried out its investigations on allegations of fraud against them.
The workers began the protest on October 6, following the invitation of Mr. Daramola by the anti-graft agency where he answered questions on allegations of misappropriation of funds.
Determined to disrupt all activities in the university, the protesting unions shut the gates into the university on Friday, creating commotion within the university environment.
The deployment of police officers to the institution brought the situation under control.
FUTA’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Olatunde Arayela, who spoke to reporters on Tuesday, said the unions’ demand was inappropriate as the vice chancellor remained innocent until proven otherwise.
He also described the allegations as spurious and a product of misinformation.
Mr. Arayela said the workers had a grouse with the management based on the implementation of the government policy on ownership of the university’s staff primary school.
But the Chairman of SSANU, FUTA branch, Dele Durojaiye, speaking on behalf of the workers on Wednesday, said the workers would not relent in their protest until the VC stepped aside.
“FUTA management went on air yesterday telling the whole world that we were agitating because of the FUTA primary school staff that was disengaged from the school and that we were requesting for money,” he said.
“I address you to let the whole of Nigeria know that we are not asking for any money from the University management, we are not protesting because of the primary school teachers that were disengaged. All they said were baseless lies.”
Mr. Durojaiye said the unions had petitioned the EFCC on the fraud and corrupt practices going on in the university for which the VC was invited for questioning.
“What we are saying is, the moment you are being investigated by the anti-graft agency, you should step aside and we want government to dissolve the council, the coucil is equally corrupt,” he said.
“We are also telling government that not until Prof. Biyi Daramola is removed, this University will be under lock and key. We don’t care if it takes more than three months.”
According to him, the unions were by their action joining the anti-corruption fight of the present administration.
“Since the Vice Chancellor and the Bursar are currently being investigated by the EFCC, the practice in this university is that an officer under investigation be placed on suspension pending the determination of the allegations,” he argued.
“On this note, we resolved that both the VC and the Bursar be relived of their positions with immediate effect.
“That an audit team be set up by the Federal Government to probe the account of the university from 2012 to date.
“That the governing council of the Federal University of Technology, Akure be dissolved with immediate effect.
“That a visitation panel be constituted to look into the running of the university in the recent past.”
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