Protest as AOCOED retires, demotes, union leaders

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The Governing Council of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Ijanikin, Lagos on Wednesday ordered the retirement of the chairman, Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (SSUCOEN) Wumi Ombugadu.

The Council equally demoted the secretary and assistant secretary of the union Afis Adebayo and Afolabi Oladipo respectively.

The Council, led by Professor of Economics Education Tunde Samuel, approved Ombugadu’s retirement and the demotion of two others based on the recommendations of the Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee.

Until her retirement, Ombagadu was a Principal Assistant Registrar in the college.

The development provoked a protest at the college premises led by the National Vice President of SSUCOEN Mr Nicholas Ogbusuo alongside the Lagos State chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Olufunmi Sessi who condemned Council’s decision as unjust.

The protesters went around and chasing their members out from the offices.

Ogbusuo said the panel that took the decision met outside the college, thus making the sitting illegal and condemned the action of the Council.

He said the council and management ignored the memorandum signed by the state government, governing council, management and SSUCOEN but went ahead to retire and demote two others because they failed to give the management their congress resolution.

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Nonetheless, the Registrar of AOCOED, Mr Muhideen Shehu, described the protest as ‘lawless’.”

No constituted authority will accept such action. The management will not tolerate hooliganism and gangsterism on campus. We don’t have any letter about the protest by SSUCOEN. It was a disciplinary action and we surprise about the protest,” Shehu told The Nation.

Shehu said Ombugadu was retired and paid three month salary in lieu of notice for failure to appear before the governing council’s disciplinary panel.

Shehu recalled how the trio were initially queried for failure to appear before the panel on alleged infractions, but they flaunted the directive.

According to him, the governing council had earlier rescinded its decision because of the intervention of the Lagos State government, which directed the three unionists to appear before the panel.

Shehu said based on the government’s directive, the three were given another chance to defend themselves against allegations of confrontation against the Council and management.

Muhidden noted that while the two others responded, Ombugadu refused to appear, a development which the Registrar said necessitated different sanctions meted out to the union leaders.

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Going down memory lane, She said after the Council and management agreed to promote the level nine workers, the state government asked the college to reverse the decision but SUUCOEN resisted the move and engaged the Council and management in confrontation.”

As I speak to you, Wunmi Ombugadu is no longer the staff of AOCOED.”

She was compulsorily retired by the governing council. She was paid three-month salary in lieu of notice,” he stated.”

Our students are writing their examination. As soon as the news of the protest reached me, I called the Chief Security Officer of the college to invite the police. Normalcy has been restored to the campus.”

Two days after the story broke, the union led another protest where the leadership of SSUCOEN sought Lagos State intervention on the matter.

(The Nation)

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