The staff of Osun State University shut the gate of the institution on Thursday, disrupting academic activities
The action was to protest the alleged move by the university management to suspend their union executives for exposing alleged fraudulent activities of the Vice Chancellor, Labo Popoola.
The protesting workers under the aegis of Joint Action Committee paralysed academic and commercial activities on the six campuses of the school.
They stopped Mr Popoola and members of Academic Staff Union of Universities from gaining entrance into the campuses.
The protesters include members of Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), Senior Staff Academic Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT). They asked the federal government to dismiss the vice chancellor for allegedly embezzling N100 million and failing to remit pension fund deducted from their salaries.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the school’s Governing Council set up a committee to probe the allegations of fraud levied against Mr. Popoola. The committee reportedly cleared the vice chancellor.
However, the institution’s NASU Chairman, Isiah Fayemi, challenged the report of the probe committee.
“The workers of UNIOSUN, have no personal grouse with the VC. He has been mismanaging the fund he inherited in the university. We can’t fold our arms. He has siphoned over N6 million and mismanaged over N100 million. He connived with the Governing Council Chairman to increase his furniture allowance from N120,000 to N481,000.”
He alleged that the vice chancellor also mismanaged funds left in the office by his predecessor.
“His predecessor handed over N3 billion to him and we also recovered over N2 billion school fees, debts owed by students. Nothing is running in the university. Workers buy working tools with their personal money and yet he is denying us our entitlements. We are not sure if the purported report that they claimed exonerated him emanated from the council.”
“Something is fishy. They should make the report public. Let all of us see it. The VC renovated eight rooms with N70 million. Popoola is perpetrating a lot of administrative fraud.”
Also, the SSANU Chairman, Lekan Adiat, said the union already gave an ultimatum before resorting to a strike that lasted for weeks before it was called off due to intervention of the State House of Assembly and Head of Service.
He threatened that there will be no peace on any of the university campuses until issues relating to poor funding and non-payment of workers allowances are addressed.
The workers resolved to continue the protest at 8:00 a.m. daily until their demands are met.
Efforts to reach the vice chancellor were unsuccessful. His telephone number was not reachable and he did not respond to text messages on the matter.