In a street protest on Tuesday, the staff members said: ” we have waited this far before making our plight known to the public as we needed to exhaust all possible options as provided by the University with high hopes that justices would be done to the unfortunate scenario without fear, favour or intimidation, we are however constrained to make this Press appearance so that the public would be fed with the genuine reality on ground other than the decorated cosmetic information been released to the uninformed general public.
” In December 2015, the management requested the reports on the needs of Departments and Units of the University in a bid to fashion possible way forward for same in the immediate and subsequently depending on the importance and urgency. Chief amongst the requests were need of different categories of staff both in Academic and non academic units of the school.
As is the tradition in Nigerian Universities, the National University Commission was to carry out assessments of human and physical resources of Ekiti State University to know her viability to run her academic programs, this process determines if the University has the wherewithal to host and run such program.
On February 2, 2016, the then Chairman of the Governing Council, Ekiti State University Prince Dayo Adeyeye (Esq) approved the request for the recruitments of some staff. Machinery were set in motion in this regard and the process cumulated in the recruitments of Teaching staffs, Non Teaching staffs and Technologists in March/April 2016 after necessary interviews, oral and written were conducted. They were offered temporary and permanent appointments as applicable to different categories.
Various Departments, units and Sections were involved in the process that earned the University accreditation in almost all the departments that were examined.
” Other categories of staffs like hall of residence assistants/portals for the new University hostel, Security, Administrative and Technical staff, Bursary staffs were recruited to fill up the many vacamcies created by promotions, conversion, resignation and retirement of existing staffs.
Those that have temporary appointments were regularized accordingly after going through an interview session before a joint committee of Management and Council. Appointments were all confirmed after the probationary periods as required by the University Conditions of Service
It is worthy of note that the the current VC, Prof. Edward Olanipekun was a member of the then University Council while incumbent Registrar, Bar. Akin Arogundade occupies same office during this period been referenced hence both can’t claim ignorance of this as they were active participants of the process.
Fast forward to 2017, in gradual fulfillments of the Human Resources needs of the University, a number of staff were recruited to join the services of the University to strengthen her staff strength. This recruitments cut across Academic and non Academic staffs as well spread through the Registry, College of Medicine, Laboratories and the class. These categories of staff were as well recruited through same process taken in 2016 all permitted by the rules of the University.
You all would recall that the tenure of Governor Ayo Fayose lapsed on October 14th 2018 while Dr. Kayode Fayemi resumed office on 15th October 2018. He set up a visitation panels to all tertiary institutions in Ekiti, that of EKSU was headed by Prof Asubiojo from Obafemi Awolowo University to look at the State of the University and bring forth necessary recommendations. A white paper by a committee set by the Executive Council of Ekiti State Government was summarized from the report of the Visitation panel. Among her recommendations is that a staff audit be carried out to know the adequacy or inadequacy of staff and other things related to this.
In the 3rd quarter of 2019, a consultant external auditor was sought to carry out this process, we here and other University staff presented ourselves before the Auditors as we have no fear whatsoever as we have genuine documents and have been recruited accordingly.
Coming after her deliberations on December 5,, 2019, the University Governing Council, chaired by Prof. Idowu Omole, former VC of Obafemi Awolowo, staff numbering around 1000 were classified under 8 categories irregular appointments, falsification of documents, falsification of age, over aged and over staying beyond stipulated time e.t.c were said to be disengaged. A heavy cloud of unsaturation fills the air as no one knows who and who makes the list.
Days after, the list was out and management calls for Appeal of dissatisfied staff in respect to the class which the disengagement falls. As law abiding citizens, we presented ourselves with documents backing up our appeals like Letters of Appointment (Permanent/Temporary), Letter of Regularization where applicable, Confirmation Letter, Promotion Letter and the Disengagement Letter.
It should be noted here that all staffs recruited in 2016 with few numbers in 2017 were disengaged on the claim of been irregularly employed.
Till date, no definition has been accorded this irregular employments as staffs who were recruited through same process in 2017 who were only confirmed in October 2019 still remains in the services of the University hence raising high suspicions that the disengagement of 2016 staff was ill-conceived for reasons best known to the actors.
The scenario at the floor of the Appeal session was that which calls for more question than the purpose it was meant for. Staff disengaged on irregular basis were asked questions like “What is your name?” “When were you employed?”
“Who sponsored your employment?”
“Did you participate in Accreditation?”
” You may go……”
When on 7th January that the Council met to deliberate on the said reports of the Appeal Committee (a report which has not been made public till we make this press appearance), it was hoped that justice would have been done but it came has a rude shock that 355 staff majority of those that has their documents missing or misplaced in their files were reinstated.
None of the staff disengaged based on irregular appointments were reinstated. Do we say all the 2016 recruits were irregular as claimed even after confirmation by the Council of the University? Do we say staff whose recruitment were done same way as ours are the preferred hence left in the services of the University especially as some of them are spouses, acquaintances, children and wards of the members of Council and Management Team? Where is the place of fair play, justice and equity in the present scenario? Isn’t it important questions about the integrity of the VC and Registrar both of whom were part of the 2016 recruitments be asked?
Should we keep mute on the deliberate silence of organized labour on this injustice melted on her members?
No! Their silence can be understandable as reliable information has that it they have been pre-informed of this sinister plan and promised compensation in terms of employment slots should they keep a grave silence till the whole script is acted.
All our efforts to plead to the management through appeals to well meaning persons in the society has been rebuffed.
It’s only in Ekiti, the Fountain of Knowledge that staffs that were recruited through established means, confirmed and promoted be summarily disengaged for no just cause.
We make bold to say that if this injustice is not reversed before the 90th day of disengagement clocked, we would not hesitate to approach the last hope of the common man The Law Court to seek redress on this injustice.