Strange drama ensued at the Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), Ekiti State, when unidentified union members tied fresh palm fronds and red clothes in what looked like local charms, to barricade the institution’s main gate in order to enforce a total strike action.
This followed a clash between striking Non-teaching staff of the institution and lecturers on Wednesday June 7, during which some lecturers were brutally beaten up by the non-teaching staff. It was also reported that some students who came to protect the lecturers were also beaten up by the non-teaching staff.
Reports have it that the non-teaching staff unions were protesting non-payment of hazard allowance and lopsided promotions by the university management as a result which they decided to embark on strike. Three union leaders, including the Chairmen of Senior Staff Union of Nigerian Universities, Com Ademola Mutiu, his counterpart in National Association of Academic Technologists, Com Ekundayo Ojugbaye and Chairman of the Non Academic Staff union, Com Adebayo Dada were suspended by the institution last week for declaring industrial action and for unruly behaviour to the council members. But the strike was not supported by the teaching staff who went to discharge their duties and got beaten up.
This closure of the university by the management after ordering the arrest of those involved in the show of shame.
In a dramatic twist, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Kayode Soremekun, in a press conference held in Ado-Ekiti
on Thursday June 8, accused the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose of being behind the violence threatening to destabilize the institution.
He said Fayose had allegedly been after his life since September 28 after serving as the Chief Returning Officer in Edo governorship election won by Mr. Godwin Obaseki of the APC.
The Vice Chancellor also recalled that the governor’s alleged resolve to destabilize the university started a few days ago when he allegedly ordered the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Modupe Alade to bail some union leaders arrested for beating up some lecturers from the police custody.
He insisted that the suspension slammed on the union leaders still subsists in spite of the threats and unruly behaviour against the management members.
According to him, “This fight is meant to save the soul of our university against partisanship. It is a fight against principalities and power of darkness in high places working to politicize and destabilize our university”.
“As I speak with you now, my life and that of the Registrar, Mr Daniel Adeyemo and other management members are not safe. They even sent to a top management member Prof Amun that they are coming to embarrass him in the church he presided over on Sunday, it is as bad as that.”
He said he has written to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu and the National Universities Commission on the issue.
But the Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communications, Lere Olayinka , denied the allegation saying the governor had no business with the federal university.