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Aocoed To Sack Union Leaders Tomorrow. by Temitayo (f): 5:40am on August 26
Adelani Temiloluwa
School Of Nursing Ondo
Nursing Student
300Level, Nigeria.

There are indications that the Governing Council of the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED) may sack the leadership of the Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (SSUCOEN), on Monday.

A dependable source informed The Nation that the decision to sack the union leaders was taken during the Council’s disciplinary committee held at Friday.

The Nation learned that the announcement will affect the chairman of SSUCOED-AOCOED Comrade Wunmi Ombugadu, her secretary and assistant secretary Messrs. Afis Adebayo and Afolabi Oladipo respectively, for failing to appear before the Council’s disciplinary panel over an alleged misconduct.

Sometimes ago, some members of SSUCOEN were posted to certain designations within the college but the leadership of the union warned them not to report to such posting. This led to the aforementioned trio being given a query twice to appear before the Council’s disciplinary panel, a directive SSUCOEN leadership flaunted.

Rumour of the Council’s resolutions filtered through the 62 year-old institution weekend, and was being discussed by workers within and outside campus in hushed tones.

A source within the Council informed our reporter that during the weekend meeting, the Council exhausted all options of punishment as embedded in the college Condition of Service, ranging from outright dismissal, stagnation, compulsory retirement, and termination of appointment, among others, but eventually opted for compulsory retirement for the union leaders.

On Monday last week SSUCOEN rose from an emergency congress and declared an indefinite strike over what it described as victimisation of its leadership by both management and Council. The following day, (Tuesday), amid the drizzle, SSUCOEN members blocked the entrance gate of the institution, preventing vehicular movement. The union insisted their colleagues would not heed a circular issued by management a day earlier, warning SSUCOEN members of the implication of shunning duties.

In her reaction however, Ombugadu confirmed the rumour to The Nation, saying that the affected members, herself inclusive, are prepared to receive their sack letters.

“We are very much aware (of the rumours) and we are prepared,” Ombugadu noted yesterday.

Ombugadu vows that SSUCOEN would not budge to management’s alleged intimidation and oppression of its leadership.

“The plan (by Council) was hatched in order to break the strike, but we remain undaunted. We shall quickly summon our members tomorrow (today) to intimidate them of update and ask them to prepare for struggle,” Ombugadu added.

However, Ombugadu said following the query, the national vice president of the union and the Lagos State Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) visited the management on a peace mission, appealing that management stay action on the scheduled meeting of the union leader with the Council’s disciplinary panel scheduled last Friday.

Nonetheless, another source who pleaded not to be mentioned because of the sensitive nature of the matter, blamed both the union and the Council over the matter.

“See,” noted the source, “the genesis of the matter was when some members of SSUCOEN were posted to certain designations and the leadership of the union asked them not to report. But I must say they ought to have reported for the posting first before making their grievances known to management. Refusal to report to duty is a serious misconduct.”

“I also blame the Council for being hasty (over the verdict). Our grouse is that we have a Council I will describe as ‘authoritarian and very rigid’. I expect the role of the Council to mere oversight but it’s like they 9Council) have practically taken over the role of management,” the source addede.

In a swift response however, Registrar of AOCOED Mr Muhideen Shehu Abdul-Quadri, said SSUCOED leadership erred by giving the Council cold shoulder.

“In the past, some other members of staff had been invited by the disciplinary committee. However, a query was given to certain leaders of the union and they felt because they hold leadership position in the union, they are not entitled to appear before the panel.

“The fact that they made a request to the Council (to stay action) does not translate to the fact that that request has been granted. Let them provide the documentary evidence of their interaction as proof of what they are claiming.

“Initially, they brought the matter to management but we said it was beyond us and they should meet the Council. At the level of the management, they had apologised and we have forgiven them. The onus is on the Council which has the prerogative to quash the charges or not.”

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