A former Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), The Polytechnic, Ibadan Chapter, Mr. Babatunde Dosunmu, has expressed appreciation to Governor Abiola Ajimobi for ordering his reinstatement, in obedience to court order.
Dosunmu, who was sacked in 2009 by former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, following the protracted industrial action embarked upon by the institution’s lecturers over their contentious welfare issues, was reinstated by Governor Ajimobi immediately he became governor in 2011.
Akala had disobeyed the order of the court over the reinstatement of the labour leader, a situation that had generated ripples in the institution before the advent of the Ajimobi administration.
Speaking at an interactive session with the governor during his visit to the institution, Dosunmu seized the opportunity to revisit the circumstances surrounding his sack as well as the legal battle he embarked upon which culminated in his reinstatement by the court.
Dosunmu, who is now the South-west Zonal Coordinator of ASUP, also recalled how former Governor Alao-Akala had expressly disobeyed the order of the court, insisting that no court could reverse his decision as the `executive governor’.
“This is the first opportunity I am having to formally express gratitude to you, Sir. On behalf of myself, my family, the union and the entire polytechnic, I commend Your Excellency for obeying the court order for my reinstatement.
“The judgment came before you became governor in 2011 but it was disobeyed by the then governor (Alao-Akala). It shows you as a courageous, humane and law abiding leader,’’ Dosunmu said.
He commended the governor to ensure prompt payment of workers’ salaries, urging him not to rest on his laurel by constantly putting workers’ welfare in the front burner of his administration’s policies and programmes.
Other labour leaders, who also spoke at the occasion, included the Chairman of the institution’s branch of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Mr. Ajadi Kelani, the Chairman of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics, Mr. Gbenga Akinola, as well as his counterpart in the Non-Academic Staff Union, Mr. Sunday Oyekola.
While the ASUP Chairman lauded the governor for approving 65 years as retirement age for academic staff, others also appealed to the governor to consider their members for the same benefit.
The governor commended members of the polytechnic community for trooping out to receive him, saying this was a demonstration of their love and support for him and his administration.
Governor Ajimobi, who had earlier observed the Jumat service at the institution’s central mosque where he announced the donation of a bus to the students’ Muslim community, used the opportunity to solicit the support of the polytechnic for his second term ambition.