By Solomon Attah, Lafia
The cases of financial recklessness, misconduct and maladministration are some of the reasons Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State sacked management of the state owned College of Education (COE), Akwanga.
Aside from the aforementioned, there are issues bordering on the welfare and well being of staff of the college, which led to the recent industrial action embarked upon by members of the Joint Unions of Tertiary Institutions at the college.
Some of the demands of the unions included; headship/responsibility allowances, payment of pension and gratuity, implementation of 64 years retirement age among others.
Meanwhile, administrative and academic activities at the College have been paralyzed within the period following the indefinite strike embarked upon by the joint unions over non payment of their promotion arrears and other entitlements amounting to over five hundred million Naira.
The joint unions which made up of College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education of Nigeria (SSUCOEN) and Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), have been showing understanding with management of the college over their request since 2013.
Edward Daniel, the Joint unions Chairman at the college, said the strike was to press home their demand for better welfare package for its members.
According to the Chairman, the management of the college have failed to implement promotions and annual increment to all staff since 2013.
“We have shown enough understanding with the government and the management despite being insensitive to our welfare needs.
“This strike has lingered for some years now and we always show understanding with them by suspending the strike whenever we embarked on any.
“But, this time around, we have been pushed to the wall and undermined by the management, and were left with no option than to speak the language they understand most, which is strike.
“We have reached an agreement in April 2019 and they have stated the implementation in April same year, but decided to stop in September 2019 for no reason and without consulting us.
“So, this time around we will only suspend the strike if we see alert of all our arrears from 2013,” the Chairman added.
Daniel noted the Nasarawa State Polytechnic and College of Agriculture all in Lafia, with similar problems have been able to address their challenges using internally generated revenue as directed by the state government.
“And we wondered why the college with so many sources of revenue can not afford to do same as it sister institutions, he said.
However, for the interest of the students and industrial harmony in the institution, Governor Sule Swiftly intervene to return the college to normalcy.
Some of the students who described the action as frustrating, appealed to the state government to find lasting solution to the incessant strikes in the institution.
The lingering issues which culminated to administrative fraud, saw a high level of lawlessness, abuse of office and high-handedness in the administration of the college.
Governor Sule who was disturbed by the trend of unattended events under the watch of the female university lecturer, who separately served as Provost of the college more than third term, setup a six-man investigative panel to look into the issues with the view to return the college to it former glory.
The composition of members of the panel include Hussaini Saleh Shat as chairman, Tsovina Tanko David, Yarius G. Dagusa, Amina Abdullahi, Mohammed Aliyu Mailafiya as members, while Comfort Ewuga, is the secretary of the panel.
Following this development, the Governor has sent the Provost of the College, Rebecca Isaac Umaru, the registrar, Safiyanu Audu, the College Bursar, Hellen Akpavan and the officer incharge of TETFund Benbela Madaki on compulsory leave pending the outcome of the panel’s report.