The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, has said that it suspects that there may be a grand plan to destroy the institution owing to what it described as uncomfortable double-speak by owner state governments and consipiracy of silence by the institution’s governing council.
Chairman of the Union, Dr Biodun Olaniran, who was hosted by the South West Group of Online Publishers (SWEGOP) in Ibadan on Tuesday, regretted that while the Vice Chancellor as well as the Governing Council have not issued a single statement on the crisis rocking the institution, the owner states have been taking conflicting positions.
“I can not say this is where the authorities of the institution stand because the governing council have not issued a single statement since the crisis started. Unless they are making moves underground but their silence calls for suspicion.
“The state governments of Osun and Oyo, on the other hand have not been speaking with one voice. Osun would say something totally different from Oyo and the commissioners would say something else. This gives room for suspicion that there may be a grand plan to destroy the institution”, Olaniran said.
He also said that another important personality that need to speak and wade into the crisis is a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
Olaniran said: “We think at this point that the silence being maintained by the Chancellor of the University, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is not helping. We call on him to wade in and save this institution”
Why blame ASSU?
A lot of blame has been heaped on ASUU. The union has been accused of sabotaging efforts to conduct a forensic audit of the institution as recommended by the visitation panel. A legal luminary, Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), who is also a member of the school’s governing council, blamed ASUU for taking the crisis to this stage.
In an interview with ceoafrica last week, Akintola said things began to take the wrong turn for the institution when the Academic Staff Union (ASUU) of the University began to demand earned allowances which the state governments could not afford.
But Olaniran wondered why ASUU should be blamed for the things that go wrong because owners and authorities of the institution failed in their responsibilities.
He said: “Why blame ASUU? They say ASUU is stopping them from conducting forensic audit. How? You want to audit finance, are the finance books in ASUU’s possession? You want to audit staff, is ASUU in charge of staff documents and appointment letters?”.
How did Oyo, Osun spend bail out funds collected for LAUTECH?
Olaniran disclosed that while it is understood that there is financial crisis in the country, it would not be accepted that there was no money at all. According to him, before the state governments went for the bail out funds from the Federal Governemnt, LAUTECH staff were among those captured as being owed and were listed as part of those whose salaries, together with other civil servants, would be paid with the bailout funds.
He asked, “so, at what point was LAUTECH removed from the list? So, we are not being unreasonable. We know they collected bailout which was meant for payment of salaries. What happened to it? These are the questions we should be asking? They should conduct their forensic audit but not shelve their responsibilities and answer their own questions too”