FUOYE links student death to SSANU, NASU strike

THE management of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), has linked the death of a student who was asthmatic in the school to the ongoing industrial action by the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU).

The university vice-chancellor, Abayomi Fasina, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) Tajudeen Opoola,  alongside other top officials of the university, disclosed this at a press conference in Oye Ekiti on Tuesday, March 19.

The management explained that the student with asthma passed away due to the inability to promptly receive medical attention, as the university was inaccessible after it was allegedly locked down by the unions.

“We lost a student who had asthma this morning because he could not be taken to our clinic. The facility is under lock and key. It is true that students are on holiday, but not all of them live on campus. It would have been easier for the student to be rushed to our clinic for urgent treatment, but even our university gate was locked.

“Just this morning, I was at the Ekiti State University (EKSU), and the administrative block was open. People are going about their normal duties. You may go there to confirm. I am using EKSU as an example because it is the closest as far as this environment is concerned. In EKSU today, the clinic is functioning. A total or comprehensive strike is not going on there,” the vice chancellor said.

The ICIR on Monday, March 18, reported that SSANU and the NASU began a seven-day warning strike over their withheld salaries.

The unions’ Joint Action Committee (JAC) declared the strike, according to a memo dated Friday, March 15, which directed members to withdraw their services across the nation’s public universities.

Meanwhile, Fasina accused the FUOYE SSANU chairman, Oluwaseun Faleye, of providing inaccurate information about the university to the union’s national leadership, prompting the national leadership to instruct the union branches in Ondo, Osun, and Kwara states to proceed to the university and shut it down on Monday, March 18.

“But the same leadership of EKSU SSANU went on air yesterday to incite the public, and even led some hoodlums to invade and occupy our institution based on a false narrative they were fed with by the chairman, SSANU, FUOYE chapter.

“Our own chairman was the one who gave false information to the national president. Since he gave the impression that he had been beaten and harassed, the national president allegedly directed the leadership of their unions in Ondo, Osun and Kwara to proceed to FUOYE to rescue the chairman and occupy and enforce the total shutdown,” he said.

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He warned that the management would not fold its arms and allow the breakdown of law and order under the guise of strike action, adding that the law would deal with the situation appropriately.

However, reacting to the allegations in a statement on Tuesday, March 19, the chairman of SSANU, FUOYE chapter, Oluwaseun Faleye, said the union duly notified the university of the seven-day warning strike.

He also accused the vice chancellor, Sunday Fasina, a professor, of intimidating the union’s leadership.



    According to him, the management sent a written letter soliciting concessions to exempt the health centre and other facilities, but Faleye added that the requests were declined, citing a warning from the national leadership of the union against granting such concessions.

    “Following the decline of the management’s requests, we got information that the vice chancellor made moves to use security operatives to intimidate our members.

    “Between Wednesday and Friday last week, the DSS Director and the Commissioner of Police invited us, and we felt that those moves were acts of intimidation just because we were going to fully comply with a national strike. We felt we were not safe.

    “Interestingly, on getting to the school gate, we met armed civil defence officers, and I was assaulted. So, we want to put it on record that it is the management that is using the security agencies to intimidate us for complying with a national directive on industrial action,” Fasina claimed.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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