By Olufemi Adediran, Abeokuta
Lecturers of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Abeokuta, Ogun State on Wednesday grounded all activities at the institution over allegation of imminent mass sack by a Transition Committee set up by the Ogun State Government to upgrade the institution to a University.
The aggrieved lecturers, under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), the institution’s chapter, blocked the main entrance leading to the school as early as 7am thereby preventing entry into and from the school. Many of the students who reported for school could not gain entry and had to stay outside.
The polytechnic was upgraded to a University by the National Universities Commission (NUC) recently and named Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology (MAUSTECH).
The lecturers chanted different anti-Committee songs. They also brought some fetish materials inside a calabash and placed it in front of the main entrance, apparently to scare people from forcing their way into the campus.
It was gathered that the Transition committee is billed to hold a meeting in the premises of the school on wednesday.
They rained curses on the committee, saying the Committee wanted to deprive them of what they had laboured for a very long time.
Some of the placard inscriptions read: “Okebukola must go” and “MAUSTECH must stay”. Prof. Peter Okebukola is the Chairman of the Transition Committee.
The ASUP Chairman, Comrade Kola Abiola, who led the protest alleged that Okebukola, at a meeting between members of the committee and the leadership of the union hinted that all of them would be asked to resign and reapply.
The union, however sought for a round-table discussion with the committee and vowed to resist any directive that could lead to the loss of jobs by the academic staff members.
The Zonal Coordinator of ASUP, Zone C in charge of South West, Olawale Adetunji Omobaorun said the action of the lecturers had the backing and the blessing of the National body.
Omobaorun said “Committee and government have refused to give recognition to the plight of major stakeholders and our interest is not their interest. We say no to slave trading in the land of the black”.
The State President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Comrade Balogun Olawale warned that they would not support any action that would prolong academic calendar of the institution.
Okebukola however stoutly denied the lecturers allegations, describing them as mere fabrications.
In his reaction to the allegations in a statement, Okebukola said “We held a meeting with all staff at the beginning of our assignment and conveyed our position on job security. This position has been re-echoed in subsequent meetings with staff unions. It is curious that some persons have taken undue liberty of misinforming the general public with the spread of such fake news”
“We have given the good people of Ogun State a pledge that in the shortest possible time, MAUSTECH and Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia will be among the brightest stars in the firmament of quality higher education in Nigeria, indeed in Africa”, he affirmed