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  • The furore at FUOYE!
  • Victan dice
    Source: The Nations newspaper
    SIRThere’s been so much plate-throwing at the upstart university and it’s becoming a source of embarrassment to Ekiti State. A paradox of epic proportion it is, that – before our very eyes, in the Fountain of Knowledge, the acclaimed land of professors and academic griots – an ivory tower, is gradually slipping into disrepute and utter decay. Of course, this should be a source of concern to all.
    The conflict had its genesis in a ‘harmless’ document, which the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) cleverly explained away as ‘housekeeping’ manual to sanitize the Federal University of Oye-Ekiti, FUOYE. The local ASUU branch at the university   had prepared the document – a glimpse into how FUOYE was being administered – and forwarded same to the supervising Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja. Between Oye-Ekiti and Abuja, the document turned out to be indicting. Sources informed it was critical of the vice chancellor who was promptly queried by the Minister of Education. And so, the battle line was drawn!
    In an apparent edge of dislike for this sort of activism, the ‘constituted’ authorities at FUOYE responded in cold brewed rage, descending heavily on some lecturers and union officials of the local branch of the ubiquitous ASUU. Tales abound of unionists, being hauled before hurriedly-constituted panels–court-martial style; and of lecturers being blackmailed into   retracting ‘statement of facts’ and other reported   forms of intimidation, blackmail and high-handedness.
    As we speak, many officials of the local branch of ASUU remain suspended from work without salary, with little prospects of returning to their jobs. Already, fringe unions within the university are bracing up for war in solidarity with ASUU. The hitherto serene academic environment has become toxic, polluted with claims and counterclaims, witch-hunting, intrigues, bickering and ‘small politics’ with immense potentials to stifle academic growth in the institution. It should not be!
    Actions like these risk balkanizing the university community into narrow sects and tribal fiefdoms where feral gangs hold sway at the expense of scholarship. We do not wish for a cultist enclave   in the form of an academic campus on our hands in Ekiti. These tragedies, if they happen, would hurt Ekiti in no small measure. The very reason therefore Ekiti State government must refrain from sitting on the fence on this crisis but lend its voice to save the young university from the path of perfidy. It’s an awful lot easier to start a war than stop one.
    Yes, FUOYE is a federal institution but federal interest in the crisis remains passive, unhelpful and indifferent   to the growing confrontation; appearing rather reluctant to choose sides. In the absence of Abuja intervening in the mode of a Visitation Panel for FUOYE, Ekiti People’s Mandate (EPM) hereby appeals to the Ekiti State government (EKSG) to move in and initiate some form of dispute resolutions. In an ideal world of rational diplomacy and thinking and by the antecedents of Governor Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti is well placed to help in settling the crisis in FUOYE. After all, Ekiti remains the landlord to the university.
    Our stake in FUOYE is high and always would remain so.  It’s raining in Oye. It’s time to get the umbrella out!

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