By Dayo Johnson Regional Editor, South-West
AKURE— THERE are worries over the whereabouts of the report of a visitation panel instituted by the Rotimi Akeredolu administration in Ondo State into the affairs of four tertiary institutions owned by the state government last year.
Stakeholders in the state have been asking why it took the state government six months to peruse the report of a panel it inaugurated last year after it was submitted.
The four tertiary institutions are Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo and Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo.
Ever since the government approved the report, its whereabouts has been a subject of controversy.
Another vista was introduced when the chairmen of the governing councils of both Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba- Akoko and that of Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Dr. Tunji Abayomi and Prof. Sunday Ogunduyile respectively denied seeing or receiving the said recommendations from the state government while the State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Femi Agagu said the recommendations had been transmitted to them.
However, the chairman of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Banji Alabi, however, confirmed the receipt of the document from the state government.
The alleged non-implementation of the document by the council in the institutions had reportedly created a crisis by giving room for alleged victimisation across the institutions as the heads of the institutions have reportedly gone on a revenge mission on those who wrote petitions against their alleged maladministration, high-handedness and other misdemeanors.
Unions allege victimisation
South-West Voice gathered that the unions that submitted papers and memoranda to the visitation panels are now allegedly being victimised and redeployed by heads of the institutions.
Anxiety reigned across the institutions as workers and union leaders expressed disappointment over the whereabouts of the document.
The chairman of ASUU in Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Dr. Sola Fayose described the development as worrisome and a disservice to the institution.
Fayose said: “We have been awaiting the white paper that will usher in its implementation, but that has not been done.”
Speaking with South-West Voice, the spokesperson of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Sola Imoru said the allegations would be handed over to the chairman of council and not the vice- chancellor of the university.
Imoru said he has no idea about its receipt or non-receipt by the council.
In his defense, the Governing Council Chairman of the institution, Dr. Tunji Abayomi told South-West Voice: “I have not seen the recommendation; may be it was handed over to the Vice- Chancellor.
“As we speak, I have not seen the recommendation. It is possible the government might have sent it to the council which has a secretariat, but I have not seen it. The council meets four times a year statutorily. If it has been sent, we will see it when we meet, but I haven’t seen the report.”
Report’ll soon be gazetted—Ondo govt
The Education, Science and Technology Commissioner, Femi Agagu, who not only insisted that the report had been transmitted to the councils of the four state-owned tertiary institutions, added that it would soon be gazetted.
Agagu was quick to add that various committees in the institutions’ governing councils had to meet before “such a monumental decision can be taken to the larger members of the council, and you know that will take time.”
On the allegation of victimisation, fear and anxiety by workers, the commissioner said it was “not true.”
However, workers across the institutions are insinuating that the government may for political exigency, opt for selective implementation of the report because of some vested interests, hence the denial and affirmation of its receipt by heads of the institutions.
A union member told South-West Voice that “these are questions begging for answers. We want the questions to be answered. Could the government have released that of Owo and still kept other institutions? Is it possible for Governor Akeredolu to give directive to the council chairmen to implement the report and for them to disobey him?”