The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Ministry of Education, starting from 3rd February, 2015, to check the activities of the councils of the Federal Polytechnics, Oko and Ekowe and to get them stay off union activities.
It has also urged the Federal Government to get them to rescind intimidation and arbitrary suspension of staff, as well as abuse of administrative procedures in the institutions.
In a press statement signed by its National publicity secretary, Comrade Clement Chirman, the union observed that the reckless interference in its activities by councils and managements of these polytechnics, and indeed the sordid experiences of its members in the institutions were lamentable.
While decrying the overbearing attitude of the governing council of the federal Polytechnic, Oko, Chirman observed that, “The council in the institution has unwittingly undertaken certain actions against staff and ASUP of the institution with the sole aim of souring industrial peace and promoting discontent.
“The governing council in the Federal Polytechnic, Oko has entrenched a culture of vicious blackmail, bullying and intimidation of staff of the institution through unnecessary issuance of queries and suspension letters to staff and denial of salaries with the sole aim of protecting the Rector of the institution, whose style of administration has been weird and retrogressive and full of surplus misdeeds.”
He said the council of the Oko Polytechnic recently rose from a curiously convened emergency session to overstep its bounds of duty by issuing a cynical statement purportedly proscribing ASUP in the institution with further threat of ruthless consequences for any staff that contravened the order.
Describing the action of the council as wilful breach of an Act of the National Assembly, Chriman noted that “this action came at a time when the Minister of Education had convened a stakeholder’s intervention on the Oko matter with both the Council and Management of the institution in attendance. By this illegal shameful abuse of powers, the governing council has further affirmed its disrepute for disregarding the Honourable Minister of Education and, indeed, the National Assembly and the laws of the Federation.”