FUTA crisis: School gates pulled down, council warns protesting workers

The crisis rocking the Federal University of Technology, Akure, (FUTA), at the weekend, took another dimension, as all the iron gates leading to the entrance of the university were removed.

The two gates, North and South gates, leading to the institution were pulled down, while loads of sands were dropped at the entrance of the North gate to prevent vehicular movement into the institution.

Workers of the institution under the aegis of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, (SSANU) Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) of the university had been protesting over the release of the Vice-Chancellor of the school, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The workers of the three unions accused Daramola of corruption and vowed to keep the university locked for as long as he remained in office while calling for his removal  as the institution head.

However, one of the staff of the institution who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the school management was behind the pulling down of the gates to implicate the protesting workers.

He explained that the leadership of the unions have also informed security operatives in the state to register their shock over the development, saying the action was to rope the protesting workers.

Attempts to reach the union leaders to speak on the development proved abortive but the  State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Femi Joseph,  said the command had not got any report on the destruction, and said  that it was the school management that could rightly speak on the issue.

He however said his men have been drafted to the school, to maintain peace and order in the institution,

Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Mr. Adegbenro Adebanjo, when also contacted on phone yesterday, said he had no knowledge that the institution gates were pulled down.

Speaking on the ongoing impasse in the school,, the Council  of the institution, in a release, signed by the Registrar and Secretary to Council, Dr. Olayinka Ajayi, directed the non-teaching staff associations under its Joint Action Committee (JAC) to desist from taking laws into their hand, urging them to allow the appropriate government agencies currently handling the issues do so according to the laws of the land.

The statement  read; “Council also directs that all members of the Non-Teaching Staff of the university should resume at their duty posts immediately and go about their duties and activities without let or hindrance.

“Accordingly no form of procession and or protest or any action that could precipitate breakdown of law and order will be allowed within and in the precincts of the university.

“The appropriate security agencies have been fully briefed and have promised to be on ground to provide adequate security for lives and property in the university and its environs,” the statement partly read.