Just as the ongoing strike of the Non-Academic Staff Unions of the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Ikorodu, entered the 22nd day, the unions have demanded for the removal of the institution’s Rector, Samuel Oluyinka Sogunro.
The unions is also demanding for the removal of the management team and governing council from office.
Abiodun Ayanda, Treasurer, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnic (SSANIP), LASPOTECH Chapter, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos that the ongoing strike and daily protest would continue until the demands of the unions were met.
Ayanda said all the staff unions in the institution, including the Non-Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (NASUP) and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), have agreed not to allow the polytechnic management to have access into the campus.
He said the agreement was reached because the rector was not an administrator and was not good enough to administer the institution or any other organisation.
According to him, the rector, as against the yearnings of the unions went ahead to implement the “de-migrated structure” for the January salary.
“Our members received alerts for the ridiculous salary last two weeks Saturday at midnight; to our surprise, some of us got N1, 500 as salary.
“Some others who are servicing a loan, got a negative sum, which means they have balance to still pay the bank.
“Amid, the financial recklessness, the rector engaged in, which we know the law would catch up with him, his administration is poor because he is not a leader and does not have the charisma to mentor others.
“Our cardinal demand now is that, we cannot continue to tolerate the excesses of the management and the council and so they must go.
“Also, the reversal of the de-migrated salary structure and a stop to the harassment of our members by the management through interdiction, demotion and the purported disengagement,’’ he alleged.
Ayanda said the unions also took the decision because the rector was vindictive in nature and would surely trump up charges against members and executives of the unions, who were leading the agitation if allowed to return.
He said the administrative block housing the polytechnic’s principal officers would remain shut as non- academic activities in the institution remained paralysed until the lingering issues were resolved.
Ayanda hinted that the leadership of the unions had met with Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, the APC National Leader last week Thursday and he urged them to eschew anger, while assuring them that he would look into the issues and resolve them accordingly.
He said that the processes leading to the purported disengagement of Mr Akinlawon Fasasi, NASUP Chairman and three other members of the union from the service of the polytechnic were faulty and so could not stand.
According to him, NASUP congress and other unions had upheld that Fasasi remain a staff of the polytechnic and chairman of the union.
Ayanda said that even the government, through the office of the Head of Service, wrote a letter to Fasasi as NASUP chairman last week, which means the disengagement was the handiwork of the rector and not the government.
Reacting, Olanrewaju Kuye, the polytechnic’s spokesman said the institution’s rector was not to be blamed for the ongoing crisis, as the re-alignment of the salary was implemented in line with the state government directives.
Kuye said that while the January salary has been paid, he could not confirm that some staff earned as low as N1, 500.
He, however, expressed optimism that the lingering issue would soon be resolved and the situation on the campus would return to normalcy.
NAN reports that members of NASUP and SSANIP, LASPOTECH chapter, had since Jan. 21 embarked on a continuous protest to demand for the reversal of an alleged de-migration of their salary structure by the institution’s management.
The unions had on daily basis matched round the campus in their hundreds chanting solidarity songs and carrying placards with inscriptions as: “No To De-migration’’, “Sogunro uses Ambode to disrupt LASPOTECH’’, “No To strangulation of unions’’, while major offices were shut.
The unions said the strike was to demand a reversal in the de-migration of the polytechnic’s workers salary structure from the CONTISS 15 migration by the Polytechnic’s rector against the Deputy Governor’s pronouncement and Court’s directive.
The polytechnic management, however, said it did not de-migrate its staff as claimed but was only correcting a realignment of the salary structure as directed by the state government.
It said the need for the alignment arose because the management of the polytechnic was forced by the unions to implement the migration in 2016, while the document presented for implementation as later discovered, did not emanate from NBTE.
Following the continuous protest, the management disengaged four members of the union, including Fasasi on issues bothering on the breech of peace within the campus.
A check by a NAN Correspondent confirms that the administrative block and other major offices were under lock while students were still around the campus going about their business and receiving lectures, as the unions had promised not to disrupt their academics.
Meanwhile, the heavy presence of armed security personnel hired by the management to maintain law and order within the polytechnic had been relaxed.