LASPOTECH’s Management/Unions Dispute: Academic Staff Send SOS To Gov. Ambode

Kunle Adelabu.

About a week after the Academic Staff of Polytechnic, (ASUP), Lagos State Polytechnic chapter and two other unions of the school had embarked on series of strike and recently declared an indefinitely strike, the teaching staff have petitioned the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, to save their souls from threats.

 

In the petitioned dated June 9, 2017, and titled, “Save Our Souls: Incessant Use of Security/Agencies Against The Staff and Students of Lagos State Polytechnic” and signed by the ASUP Chairman and Secretary, the lecturers are calling on the governor to intervene by investigating and liberating the staff, pensioners and students of the school from constant harassments.

 

The petition, which listed series of allegations including the illegal acquisition of arms by the rector of the institutions who also is being alleged to have employed the services of vigilante and other conventional security apparatus to threaten  and harass the students and staff alike, condemned the state of affairs in the institution and called on  Governor Ambode,who is also the Visitor/Moderator to the Polytechnic, to investigate aforementioned security breaches and issue sanctions where appropriate.

 

“We are using this medium to plead with the Moderator of Lagos State Polytechnic and Governor of Lagos State,MrAkinwunmi Ambode, to quickly intervene, investigate and liberate the staff , pensioners and students of Lagos State Polytechnic from constant security harassments at the instance of the rector, Mr Oluyinka Samuel Sogunro”, they alleged.

 

The petition stated that since the advent of the rector about a year ago, the academic environment has been militarized,thereby resulting into constant harassment.

 

“The staff and students have been at the mercy of the gun-toting security guards since the current administration assumed office. Students are always escorted out of the campuses with guns and siren like common criminals and equally molested in the name of dress code meant for adults of  a tertiary institution ages.”

 

The lecturers also alleged that the rector is intolerant of dissenting opinions in an academic environment where dissenting views and disagreements should be thriving and that he’s always quick in unleashing both conventional and unconventional security personnel on them. “It will interest you to know that, on Tuesday, 8th November, 2016, when the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) was having a meeting with the Governing Council on the implementation of CONTISS 15 Migration, ,the rector ordered the Onyabo Vigilante group and also dispatched a police van to swoop on the staff inside the Ikorodu campus,owing to what the rector termed as ‘unruly behavior’ of his staff. The confrontation was so fierce that it took the intervention of well-meaning senior staff to avert bloodshed”, they alleged.

 

The petition, a copy of which was sent to THE IMPACT, also alleged that the management,which has refused paying their CONTISS 15 Migration Salary arrears,  has spent over N6million so far in buying 15 magnum series of semi-automatic pump action guns to increase the number of guns in the school’s arsenal and also recruited the services of the militia group, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC),on the Ikorodu campus of the institution and this according to them,has brought about panic.

 

“The militarization of the campuses received a boost when the rector approved the purchase of fifteen (15) magnum series of semi-automatic pump action guns through the BLACK MARKET to the tune of Six million , Four Hundred and FiftyThousand naira (N6, 450, 000) in addition to the 25 pieces of existing guns on campus, and also recruited OPC members and many other untrained hands to carry arms on the campuses.”

 

“This singular action increased panic and defiance actions amongst the staff and students. It is however sad to know that an institution,that could not afford to buy consumables for students’ practical across departments , expended a whooping sum of N6,450,000 from the students’ acceptance levy on unlicensed guns to ‘terrorize’ its staff and students. These guns were later discovered from a grapevine to have been bought by the Deputy Rector (Administration),Dr Ola Olateju”,the petition stated.

 

Aside OPC, the rector and his management team have also been alleged to have used personnel from Department of State Security Services (DSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and soldiers to harass, intimidate and brutalized students and staff alike whenever there is dissagreement

 

“In the wake of the industrial face-off between the Sogunro led Management and the labour Unions, the rector had unleashed the Department of State Security and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps on the Non Academic Staff Union Executives under the pretense that he was going to be kidnapped. Sogunro roped his staff members with kidnapping and attempted murder cases and walks freely touting his regular threat that “if you stand on my way, I will crush you.” they alleged.

 

“The height of Sogunro’s penchant for militocracy was exhibited on Wednesday, 7th June, 2017 ,when soldiers from 174 battalion, Odogunyan,invaded the peaceful demonstration of the Non Academic staff and students respectively, and brutalized the defenseless citizens. The school Management had fabricated different stories to cover up the dastardly act and paint the demonstrators bad, but the true confession of the Nigerian Army spokesperson, eyewitness reports, pictures and video footages vindicate the protesters.

 

“To this end, We condemn in totality the preference for illegal acquisition of guns to meaningful academic needs, naked display of arms on our campuses, brazen and flagrant use of military force to evacuate the students from campuses daily, harassment by both the internal and external security agents, militarization/invasion of our campuses and despotic style of leadership of the rector”,the staff stated in their petition.

 

They then called on the governor to investigate the invasion of the academic environment on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, which led to the molestation and brutality of students, residents and staff in the Lambo-Lasunwon community. “We call on the Governor to investigate all these aforementioned security breaches, especially the ruthless and bestial invasion on Wednesday, 7th June, that led to infliction of pains, brutality, wanton destruction of properties, disruption of business activities in Lambo Lasunwon community, molestation of innocent students and staff in 4their hostels and homes, etc. Sanctions should be appropriately meted out to anybody found culpable to avoid the reoccurrence of such undemocratic act in future and serve as a deterrent to undemocratic tendencies”, the petitioners requested.

 

Attempt to reach the Rector and the Public Relation Officer of the institution before going to the press proved abortive.

 

 

 

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