A human rights body, Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR), on Tuesday, called on the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, United Labour Congress, ULC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC to break the silence by declaring and giving notice of 24 hours warning to the Ogun State government over unpaid salaries in support of TASCE workers.
This was made known in a press statement released to journalists in Abeokuta on Tuesday, signed by Comrade Eko John Nicholas, coordinator to the Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights in Ogun State chapter.
The statement stated as follows; “The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) wishes to draw the attention of the general public to the ignominy that the Dr Kiadese Lukman-led Management of the Tai Solarin College of Education, Omu has now descended into, the lacklustre and callous attitude bordering on vindictiveness of the Dapo Abiodun APC-led government of Ogun State towards the plights of the workers since his assumption of office.
“TASCE workers were owed over 60 months of unpaid salary arrears by the past governments of Otunba Gbenga Daniel and Ibikunle Amosun, while the present government owes them February and March 2020 coupled with unpaid half salaries for the months of May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December 2019 and January, 2020”.
“Rather than pay the workers their legitimate earnings and meeting their demands, the Dapo Abiodun led government, like the ostrich, has chosen to bury its head in the sand while, the school management embarked on all forms of vengeful attacks directed mostly at the staff seen to have played prominent and principled roles in the last protests”.
“The CDWR condemns these attacks on workers’ human and inalienable rights, and demands an immediate halt to all forms of vindictive acts and highhandedness by the College management, including the harassment and assaults of workers by the policemen currently placed on the campus by the Provost; arbitrary suspension of workers and other forms of victimization geared towards striking fear in the minds and hearts of the staff and whipping them to meekness and subjugation, as against resisting the corrupt, tyrannical reigns of the Dr Kiadese-led management, who has made himself the lord of the manor in the college!”
“We also call on the Dapo Abiodun-led government to stop all pretences and grandstanding, by immediately acceding to the workers’ legitimate demands without much ado”.
“All trumped up charges against the workers should be dropped and the current Provost of the college should be relieved of his appointment for public interests and a guarantee of lasting peace in the College.
“As we write, over 100 (one hundred) workers are currently pencilled down for dismissal, they were ordered to appear before the Governing Council Disciplinary Committee on Thursday 26th and Friday 27th March, 2020 despite the stay at home order by the Federal and Ogun State governments to prevent the spread of ‘Coronavirus Epidemic’ and some of them are now on suspension for the most frivolous and ridiculous misdemeanours”.
“Imaginable, including Miss Temipote Oluwatosin Ogunfeibo, of the Information Technology Directorate, who was suspended for taken (sic) active part in the struggle for the payment of over 60 months salaries on Thursday 21st November, 2019”.
“Some other staff now termed as opposition are either being assailed with queries via phones and hard copies, or transfer from their present posts to other departments that have no correlations with their area of specialization, for instance a Principal Assistant Registrar was redeployed to a workshop (physical planning)”.
“Also, some teaching staff are subtly ‘demoted’ by being redeployed from degree course lecturers to NCE part-time program, and few who are the in management positions like Deans or sub Deans have been removed”.
“These are the levels of pettiness and rot that TASCE has descended into under Dr. Lukman Kiadese’s management and the state government seems to be at peace with itself while the Governor hypocritically flaunts the constitution of a visitation panel and the newly constituted Governing Council of the College as parts of his landmark achievements during the celebrated 100 days in office while disregarding the recommendations of the visitation panel”.
“Paradoxically the Dapo Abiodun government only paid two months half salaries against three (3) months full salaries recommended by the Prof. Kamal Balogun’s visitation panel.
“Till date, no other recommendations has been implemented save for the constitution of the College Governing Council.Also recall that the non/half-hearted implementation of panel reports, had led to the continued agitations by workers leading to the arrest of the leaders of the protests and their subsequent arraignment on the order of the state governor”.
“The case against the workers is still in court, and the College Management has now dragged some of the workers including Comrade Daniel Aborisade: the leader of the struggle under the now banned COALITION OF TASCE STAFF (COTAS) to an Isabo, Abeokuta Magistrate court for armed robbery, kidnapping etc”.
“All these repressive acts and attacks are directed towards suppressing the workers into silence, against the veiled but now clearly unfolding face of anti-people and anti-workers policies of the APC-led government of Dapo Abiodun to forestall any resistance. While the workers of TASCE are continually owed their unpaid salaries, and the management is doing its best to curtail workers anger, the state civil servants are also burdened by unpaid salaries, while the state debts continue to rise”.