Academic activities on the main campus of the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, Ondo State, came to a halt on Monday, as the academic staff of the institution staged a protest over the sacking of the Acting Provost, Dr. Emmanuel Moyinjesu.
Moyinjesu, who has been the acting provost of the institution after the expiration of the tenure of the former substantive Provost, Dr. Samson Odedina, last year, was removed by the Agriculture Research Council of Nigeria on Friday, while Dr. Albert Fadiyimu was appointed as the new acting provost.
The reason for the removal of Moyinjesu was not disclosed as of the time of filing this report. As a result, the workers, acting under the auspices of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic, FECA chapter, have kept away from their duty posts in protest.
The striking workers were seen on Monday carrying placards, which bore various inscriptions, such as ‘Save FECA from collapse,’ ‘Dissolve Governing Board’ and ‘Call ARCN to order,’ among others .
Speaking with journalists, the Chairman of FECA’s chapter of ASUP, Mr. Ogunyinka Abimbola said the lecturers embarked on the protest because the ARCN’s removal of the former acting provost (Moyinjesu) did not follow due process, saying that was the reason the lecturers embarked on the protest.
He said, “If the government is saying they want to change the acting provost, there is no problem. But they must tell us his offence because the rules say the most senior staff should be appointed as acting provost when there is a vacancy.
“But surprisingly, the newly appointed acting provost is in fourth position on the line. The news of his appointment came to us suddenly, last Friday.
“We have had many acting provosts in the college and the due process was followed. Why the difference now? Even recently the ARCN appointed the most senior officer at the Federal College of Agriculture, Ibadan.”
He threatened that the union would cripple academic activities in the college until the matter is resolved.
However, the newly appointed Acting Provost, Dr. Albert Fadimu, said that the protest was normal in any organisation because everyone had a right to his views. .
Describing the protesters as his colleagues and friends, Fadimu, who is also the Head of Development of Animal Health and Production of the institution, said the matter would be resolved amicably.
He said, “There will always be different opinions and views because we have freedom of expression to express our thoughts. But I must tell you that we have other two unions in the college that are not protesting and their members are at their duty posts.”