The 48 months unpaid salary crisis rocking Tai Solarin College of Education has taken a new dimension as the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS alleged that some unscrupulous elements in the college have hijacked the crisis to unseat the provost of the college and install their choice.
NANS, through its National Public Relations Officer, Comrade Azeez Adeyemi said the crisis in TASCE goes beyond issues of unpaid salaries as he alleged some politicians are fuelling happenings in the institutions.
Comrade Azeez said, “Some staff of the college are frustrating the continuous existence of the college due to the failure of former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun to pay their salary arrears of over 48 months.
Meanwhile, it is unfortunate to discover that in the process of agitating for the fighting for the payment of their salaries, they have other sinister motives.
They are exploring the crisis to achieve their selfish interest of installing one of their own as the provost of the college after successfully sending the sitting provost packing.”
Comrade Azeez alleged that the move to unseat the sitting provost was orchestrated by some politicians in the state.
He stated further, “It is also important to note that we have found the handwriting of some politicians on the wall in this crisis. We however appeal to them to back off or face the wrath of Aluta as the future of our students will not be allowed to be politicised.”
Speaking further on the impact the crisis has had on students in the institution, he said, “The crisis has hindered the institution from conducting matriculation ceremony for many years and this has made JAMB to give an ultimatum of September 16 to the management to conduct matriculation for new students.
To escape de-accreditation among other sanctions, the management scheduled the matriculation ceremony as instructed by JAMB, only for it to be violently disrupted by members of staff.
But as law-abiding and intellectually balanced students’ leaders, we do not want to be combatant with the staffs. So, we want the Government to provide special security to enable the management conduct orientation, matriculation and examination for the students.
Also, the management should be empowered to conduct the orientation and matriculation within the next 48hrs and examination should as well be conducted starting from next week Monday while the government as a matter of urgency implement the report of the visitation panel.”
Reacting to the crisis on his Facebook page, a former chief lecturer and the Chairman of the institution’s academic staff union, Comrade Daniel Oludipe said it was disheartening seeing academic activities snowballing into crisis at the institution.
Giving his account of what went down, he said, “Some staff molested the Provost, Deputy Provost, PRO, Mrs. Makinde (Academic Planning) when they were about to commence Orientation program for 100L students.
Students resisted the assault and guided the management staff back to their vehicles, but these staff still managed to slap, grab, hit, claw, push and pull them as they walked out of the hall, surrounded by students and policemen.
The staff were angry that the management staff got away alive and vented their anger on the policemen. The men in Black had to take to their heels and escaped, just like the management staff they were supposed to be protecting.”
He stated further “The students who witnessed how staff disrupted the orientation program thereafter descended on the members of staff.
They beat the most recalcitrant of them and chased away the others. It was a complete chaos as the lightweight run as fast as their bodies could carry them and the heavyweights shuffled towards the gate. Students hauled curses after them for holding them to ransom and lying to them that the Provost is the enemy.
The clinic was not spared. Earlier, a female student was brought in with a facial cut. On interrogation, she said she was hit with a gun butt when policemen wanted to apprehend a staff who threw stone at the Provost’s vehicle. She was treated and advised to stay clear of staff crisis.
By the time the angry students got to the health centre, they initially ordered us to leave. However, we showed them a student on admission and they left. They were cool set of guys, unlike the ruffian members of staff who acted like hooligans last Friday and felt attacking the health centre will add sugar to their bitterness.
Anyways, we were the last to leave the campus. We had to move barricades to create way for our vehicle as we drove towards the gate. We took the mini campus exit route and on getting to the junction, we were confronted by tough looking, bare-chested, thin eyes, stick-wielding, hard looking bunch of guys who were screaming at us and shouting that we wanted to ruin their lives after paying fees to the College.
They ordered us out of the car but we stayed put. They started hitting the car with all sorts, and when one of them said that a student was injured, I looked him straight in the eyes and said, “I treated that lady” and that was the reason we were leaving the campus late.”