Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
TThe Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, (SSANU) has condemned happenings at the Ekiti State University following the disengagement of about 800 workers by the university’s administration.
Already, the union has called on the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to quickly intervene in the matter so as to prevent industrial disharmony that could affect smooth academic transition in the university.
SSANU in a statement yesterday through its National Publicity Secretary, Abdussobur Salaam, said the termination of the appointment of the workers did not follow the due process, alleging that the sacked workers were never invited to present their credentials or state their cases before any competent management or council committee.
SSANU in the statement said: “The national leadership of SSANU has just been apprised of the recent happenings at the Ekiti State University where a number of staff between 600 and 800 were said to have been laid off by the council of that university. “We note that whereas other universities and organisations are using the December (yuletide period) to provide relief packages and end of year bonuses to their workers, the administration of the Ekiti State University has chosen to use this period to order the termination of appointments of that large number of workers for unfathomable and unfortunate reasons.”
The union said from information available to it, the procedure for the termination of the appointments of these staff did not follow standard and laid down processes as provided for in the university rule books and as obtainable from best practices all over the world.
It said: “To wit, no investigation committees and no staff audit or verification committees were formed. The staff members were never invited to make themselves available to present their credentials or state their cases before any competent management or council committee.
“The council rather relied on the report of a consultant hired for that purpose to terminate the appointments of these workers.”
SSANU further claimed that some of the affected workers had served the university for a long time and have risen to the apogee of their career.
According to the statement, “It is also worthy to note that these staff members, some of whom have been in the service of the university for decades and have risen to the pinnacle of their careers, were employed through the due processes of advertisements, application, shortlisting, interviews and approval by council as required by law. Not a few of them have been confirmed and even promoted subsequently.
“The recent happenings at Ekiti State University call for the concern of all stakeholders within and outside the system. The national leadership of SSANU therefore calls for the immediate reinstatement of these workers whose process of sack is incongruous with due process.
“We also invite the Ekiti State Governor, Fayemi to intervene in this brewing matter which portends grave dangers for industrial peace not only in the university but in the entire state and by extension, the entire university system in Nigeria.”