A civil society group, Education Rights Group for Justice (ERG) has accused the immediate past Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Bida Chapter (ASUP-BD), Dr Umar Sagarnuwan of masterminding violence and disrupting academic activities in the polytechnic with incessant strikes.
This is consequent upon the recent attack visited on a colleague, Mr. Abdulkadir Abdullahi in his office by a team of lecturers led by Sagarnuwan, over his refusal to join the strike action embarked upon by the union.
The group which described the attack as uncivilized, barbaric, and unbecoming of supposed academics, said it was an infringement on the victim’s constitutionally guaranteed right to association and hence dissociation.
According to a statement by the leader of the group, Comrade Wale Adetoyi Akin, by visiting such terror on the victim, the perpetrators of the dastardly act went too far, especially as the victim was acting in the interest of his students.
“The perpetrators of this senseless and wicked act should be ashamed of themselves for descending so low as to assault their innocent colleague who was discharging his paid responsibility in office. Such cowardly act does not befit students, and even more so those who are supposed to be custodians of discipline and role models to students, ” he lamented.
Akin expressed satisfaction over the maturity with which the victim was handling the matter, and emphasized the need for the perpetrators to face the full wrath of the law.
Meanwhile, ERG has also discountenanced a sister group known as the Education Right Campaign, for accusing the Rector of the polytechnic, Dr Abubakar Dzukogi of ordering the arraignment and subsequent jailing of the perpetrators of the attack.
It said the arraignment of the perpetrators followed the decision of the Police in Bida and Minna to take the matter to court, saying that neither the management nor the Rector was behind it.
ERG advised the said group to always listen to all parties to a dispute and study situations objectively before rushing to the press.
It equally condemned ASUP-BD over its incessant strike actions, describing them as personal and vindictive.
The group said the reasons for which the union was on strike were beyond the powers of the polytechnic’s management, since salary shortfall was not peculiar to the polytechnic.
It said the union also erred by declaring strike over local allowances owed to staff members since there was an agreement between management and staffers that backlog the allowances would be paid in February 2020.
“The union’s decision to embark on strike action last October is therefore wicked and counterproductive,” the statement read.
While calling on the polytechnic management to expedite action in getting relevant authorities to wade into its current financial crisis, ERG urged all parties to the matter to sheath their swords and allow peace to reign in the polytechnic in the interest of students who are always at the receiving end of their endless strikes despite paying their dues.