The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics has condemned the alleged victimisation of its members and officials in the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu.
Chris Nkoro, National Publicity Secretary of the union, made this known in a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday in Abuja.
Nkoro described the alleged victimisation by the institute management as a mindless display of impunity.
According to him: “The attention of the secretariat of ASUP has been drawn to the recent dismissal of five officials and suspension and demotion of two other members of our union by the Governing Council and Management of the IMT Enugu.
“The officials include the Chairman, General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary, Publicity Secretary and Financial Secretary of our union.
“Others are the Chairman and Secretary of the union’s strike monitoring committee in the last national strike of December 12, 2018 to February 12, 2019.
“The Prof. A.U. Nweze led Management of the institution had since January, been actively working to destabilise the union in IMT, withholding union check off dues at the first instance and refusing to deduct and remit union check off dues contrary to extant provisions of the Trade Union’s Act.
“This latest assault on the union is despite the subsistence of a suit NICN/EN/06/2019 properly served on the institution since February, 2019 and pending before the National Industrial Court, Enugu, bordering on same act of victimisation against the union officials in the institution.
“We are shocked that in this dispensation, such display of crass impunity and disrespect for the judiciary is taking place in a higher institution of learning and reportedly before the institution’s legal adviser.
“This latest act is equally against the ‘no victimisation clause’ in the union’s agreement with the government, prior to the suspension of the strike action.”
Nkoro said the union was saddened by the fact that rather than applaud the union for attracting infrastructural development to the institution as a direct consequence of the last strike, the Council of the institution, led by Ifeoma Nwobodo, and the Management had taken the path of hurting the union and its officials.
He, therefore, said it was instructive to note that during the strike, the Governor of the State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, had directed the commencement of internal roads rehabilitation in the institution after meeting with union officials.
He added that funds for the project, running into several hundreds of millions of tax payers’ money, had been released to the institution as reported by the Rector months earlier without any significant effort at execution of the project.
The statement added: “Our union is therefore at a loss as to the reason behind the onslaught on the union if not for the dislocation of attempts at diversion of the funds for the project by our union.
“Rather than cooperate with the union to restore the institution to its famed but lost glory days, the Council and Management are deploying efforts at undermining same union.
“It is on record that the institution is currently running with scores of its programmes without requisite accreditation by relevant agencies, and infrastructure in a dilapidated state.
“We are therefore calling on the Executive Governor of Enugu State, Mr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to immediately call the Council and Management of the institute to order.
“We also appeal to the government to set up a judicial panel of inquiry into the affairs of the institution as this display of impunity has the capacity to bringing the government of the state to disrepute.”
Nkoro also said the union equally called on the Federal Ministries of Education, Labour and Employment, as well as the National Board for Technical Education to note the infraction on the memorandum of settlement/action it signed with the union.
According to him, this is particularly as it affects victimisation of union officials as a result of the last strike embarked upon by the union and do the needful to avoid a return to same action by the union.