The workers of D.S Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic, Itori-Ewekoro in Ogun State on Monday sent out students of the institution from their classrooms and declared “work-to-rule” over the state of the polytechnic.
The workers under the aegis of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic and Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnic said the decision to embark on work-to-rule was taken from a joint congress held in the premises of the school on Monday.
The workers insisted that they will not resume until the management of the polytechnic meet up with their demands which includes payment of their salaries and deductions, as well as promotion of deserving staff of the institution.
They also called for the immediate resignation of the rector, Prof. Alfred Fatade and the polytechnic’s registrar, Adebayo Ogundimu.
The workers were armed with placards with various inscriptions which include;
“Government should please sack the Rector and Registrar now for peace to reign in D.S Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic”, “Our taxes must be remitted with immediate effect”, “enough is enough of our registrar, Mr Ogundimu Adebayo leave now”, “We don’t want convocation under this condition”, among others.
The chairman of ASUP in the polytechnic, Oyefusi Adebayo while speaking with newsmen said the institution is on the verge of imminent death if the government did not come to their aid.
Adebayo explained that the work-to-rule became necessary after the management allegedly failed to fulfil the agreement reached in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two parties during the government’s intervention in the crisis last year.
According to him, the management has been maltreating the staff through non-payment of salaries, non-remittance of pension arrears and allowances, among other things.
“We are here on a protest against the management of D.S Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic in the person of Prof. Alfred Fatade. The staff are showing their grievances because we have been having dialogue and we always hope that things will be okay, but things are not okay.
“Our school portal system has collapsed because if you view the portal, you will see Tai Solarin University of Education in D.S Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic showing that somebody somewhere is managing the portal over there from where our rector came from.
“The government wades into the crisis sometimes last year at the climax of the crisis and there were amicable resolutions.
“We resume our work-to-rule hoping that all will be done, but this management wanted to play on staff intelligence and the Rector wants to outsmart us in every area because when the unions go to meet him, he will be asking us to source for students so that they can be paying us our salaries.
“ We demand the immediate resignation of our rector and Registrar or the government should sack them.
“We want the government to come and look into our problems and if any investigation is lodged, the unions are ready to cooperate with them, because we feel that there are so many frauds being perpetrated by the rector and registrar in disguise.
“We want all our salaries to be paid as at when due. This is the month of February, our children have been sent out of schools because we are incapable of paying their school fees.”
Corroborating the ASUP chair, the Chairman of SSANIP, Muritala AbdulAzeez accused the rector of allegedly planning to destroy their academic career.
Abdul-Azeez also accused the Rector and Registrar of misrepresenting the interest of the workers in their reports to the government.
“Today, all members of D.S Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic have taken a fundamental decision and we have embarked on work-to-rule. The lecturers will stop going to classes, the non-teaching staff will stop working in their offices.
“We are determined to forge ahead with this struggle and to liberate our people because they have suffered so much.
“We want the rector and his registrar who has been the rector’s backbone in destroying our career and future to resign their appointments immediately or the governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun should sack them immediately.”
In his reaction, the Rector insisted that the management has fulfilled 90 per cent of the demands of the workers.
Fatade maintained that the agitations of the workers were for alleged hidden and selfish agenda.
He stressed that the polytechnic is not aware of the work-to-rule action, vowing that necessary actions will be taken.
He said, “The work-to-rule action is news to me, and while they were having their protest, we were discussing with the government. We just finished having meeting with the permanent secretary and all their demands are the same issue that they have been agitating for since last year. Virtually, more than 90 per cent of their demands have been cleared, the only pending issues are remittance of pension deduction.
“The workers at D.S Adegbenro ICT have collected November salary and December 2019 salary. Files have been taken to the governor since last week Monday. What we can say right now is outstanding January Salary.
“It is when the students pay that the institution will be able to pay because we use our IGR to pay with the subventions given by government. Not until when students pay, you cannot get money to execute anything.
“They have hidden agenda that they cannot come out to say and that is the selfishness on the union. It is not all the unions that are part of the protest; the non-academic staff did not support them. The selfishness of the few leaders of ASUP and SSANIP, they have their hidden agenda.”
Speaking on the call for his resignation, the rector said,
“They did not put me in the place and I did not receive letter of appointment from them and I have discussed their matter with the permanent secretary.”