By: Temitope Adedeji , Akure
The traditional monarch of Akure kingdom, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi, Odundun ll and some leaders in the state have waded into the lingering crisis at the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), to ensure it does not generate further.
The crisis started October last year when officials of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) arrested the Vice Chancellor of the school, Professor Adebiyi Daramola, for alleged financial mismanagement and later released him. It however took a turn last week during a protest by some union members where policemen were called in.
Chairman of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities ( SSANU), Comrade Dele Durojaiye, the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), Comrade Omoraka Ejiro, and Non -Academic Staff Union (NASU), Comrade Bayo Aladerotohun, all of FUTA branch at a press conference jointly addressed in Akure, the state capital on Wednesday, the union leaders said they could no longer sleep with their two eyes even in their homes as some of their members are being indiscriminately arrested and beaten even in the dead of the night by policemen.
They claimed that following a peaceful protest last week at the campus, policemen from one of the stations dispatched to maintain peace started shooting indiscriminately, making the protest to turn violent.
Following this episode, the police have been raiding the homes of members and arresting anybody found with FUTA sticker they said.
They alleged that some innocent members were later arrested in their homes and at different locations and sent to police detention wondering why there should be bias in the matter.
According to them, the development attracted the Deji of Akure , the Deji –in-Council and some prominent citizens who waded into the matter to ensure there is peace in the school while the NLC leaders also intervened to save the situation.
“The Oba came to address us because he said the crisis was already taking its toll on the town,” they said.
They said what they were demanding is that the Vice Chancellor step aside pending the outcome of investigations by EFCC.
“We have called on the University council to use the extant rules of the university which allows suspension of any staff or student alleged of corruption.
“The issue on ground in FUTA is purely on fighting corruption. They urged the federal government to create special courts that will handle the cases of corruption to make it faster”.
According to them justice delayed is justice denied.
The union leaders also said the autonomy handed the universities is not working as it only gives undue power to the Vice chancellors, alleging that they do things with impunity.
Meanwhile, Akure community leaders and stakeholders under the auspices of the Akure Development Forum (ACDF) have called for quick and peaceful resolution of the crisis by various parties as well as law enforcement agents.
They commended the Deji of Akure for the fatherly role played in preventing escalation of the crisis by calming the nerves of various gladiators in the crisis.
They also condemned what they call lack of respect for traditional institution of Akure by the VC through utterances and behaviour handing down a seven day ultimatum for the VC to apologize which he has done.
Contacted on the matter, the Ondo State Commissioner of Police, Hilda Harrison Ibifuro, confirmed the arrest of some staff of the school. She said they had been charged to court.
WESTERN POST learnt, however, they have since been released on bail.