• Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Group demands reinstatement of five LASU-ASUU leaders

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The Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights (CDWR) has demanded immediate reinstatement of five leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Universities of the Lagos State University (ASUU-LASU) who were suspended by Lagos State government one year after their victimisation.

Rufus Olusesan, national chairperson CDWR expressed dismay that Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos State has refused to reinstatement of these five victimised lecturers one year after the appeal committee set up by the university administration had recommended their reinstatement.

“We are shocked that the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration of Lagos State through the university’s governing council has continued to refuse to implement the recommendation of the panel over one year after,” he said.

Olusesan explained that an appeal committee set up by Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, vice-chancellor at LASU, which was headed by Dapo Asaju, a senior lecturer at the institution to look into labour dispute rocking the university had submitted its report recommending the recall of the ASUU-LASU leaders.

According to the human right activist, reinstatement recommendation was what prompted the university’s governing council to grant its approval on Wednesday, February 23, 2022.

“This was also a sequel to the report of a committee of the council that reviewed the fabricated allegations against them.

But in a bizarre turn of event, 48 hours after, the same governing council reconvened to put on hold the implementation of its earlier decision apparently following pressure from the Lagos State government.

Since then nothing has been heard about the issue while the sacked lecturers continue to suffer an unjust dismissal,” Olusesan noted.

Chinedu Bosah, national publicity secretary at CDWR buttressing the stand of the group’s leader described the action of the governor through LASU governing council as a sign of executive lawlessness.

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“We consider the refusal to reinstate the five LASU-ASUU leaders as a sign of executive lawlessness on the part of Sanwo-Olu led-administration and a betrayal of the vow the governor made in November 2021 when it set up a 10-man visitation panel into LASU with a view to make the institution “the best in terms of quality research, pedagogical and administrative excellence, as well as industrial harmony.”

We hereby demand the immediate recall of the ASUU-LASU five leaders as recommended by the appeal committee,” Bosah said.

The ASUU-LASU five, comprising Akinloye Isaac Oyewumi, chairman; Adebowale Adeyemi-Suenu, vice- chairman; Anthony Dansu, secretary; Adeolu Oluwaseyi Oyekan, assistant-secretary; and Oluwakemi Aboderin-Shonibare, treasurer were sacked by the Adebayo Ninalowo-led governing council on September 7, and 12, 2017 due to their principled opposition to the anti-worker and anti-student policies of Lanre Fagbohun, the erstwhile vice-chancellor of LASU.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State government has refused to allow them back on campus, and the rumour that the government is considering appointing Fagbohun, their traducer back as a professor in the institution is rife and demonstrates the duplicity of the government towards resolving the age-long industrial disharmony plaguing the university.

The decried the fact that while the reign of silence from the labour movement, the Lagos State government rides roughshod over the rights of the five ASUU-LASU leaders in LASU has become too deafening.

CDWR pointed out that so far, the Lagos council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) headed by Funmi Sessi has not lifted a finger to speak against the unjust dismissal of these workers leaders.

“While we acknowledge the work the Lagos NLC council has done in campaigning for the right of workers in the state especially casual workers and factory workers, it leaves much to be desired for the NLC Lagos State council to continue to ignore the case of the five ASUU-LASU leaders, who are leaders of a branch of an affiliate of the congress,” the statement read in part.

The group reiterated that an injury to one is an injury to all. Hence, called on the leadership of NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Lagos and nationally as well as civil society organisations to publicly condemn this anti-worker disposition and call on the government to immediately recall the victimised workers.

“We urge them to organise solidarity actions including petitions, protest and demonstrations to back the call for the recall of ASUU-LASU five,” the statement read.