FCE Akoka staff to Provost: 'Your tenure has expired, leave office now'

Dr Wahab Azeez 1

FCE Akoka and Dr Wahab Azeez

By Millicent Ifeanyichukwu

Christopher Olamiju, Deputy Registrar, Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, Lagos State, has urged the Federal Government to intervene in the crisis rocking the institution over agitation for removal of the provost.

Olamiju made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.

Staff of the college under the aegis of ‘Concerned Staff’ are claiming that the five-year tenure of the Provost, Dr Wahab Azeez, has expired.

The staff said that Azeez should, therefore, vacate the office to usher in a new administration.

According to the deputy registrar, Azeez assumed office on May 26, 2019, and has completed his five-year tenure.

He was reacting to Azeez’s claim of threat of eviction on him by the ‘Concerned Staff’.

The provost had at a news conference on Thursday in Lagos claimed that the threat came from the ‘Concerned Staff’.

According to Olamiju, it is false that the ‘Concerned Staff’ embarked on a protest, disrupted academic and administrative activities and attempted unlawful eviction of the provost from his official lodge.

Olamiju said that the provost had claimed that the above happened.

“The provost has served for five years; by law, his tenure has expired. Meanwhile, his administration has taken this college 10 years backward. The workers’ unions are concerned about this issue and we are soliciting for his removal.

“We need an acting provost pending when the authorities will appoint a substantive provost.

“It is worthy to note that the same law caught up with the college’s bursar, librarian and the registrar, who observed the law and exited office without any problems. Those currently in that position are in acting capacity,” he added.

The provost had at a virtual news conference on Thursday alleged that activities of a group which called itself ‘Concerned Staff’ had been disrupting the smooth running of the institution.

According to him, the group threatened him with a seven-day quit notice from an apartment.

He added that the group was threating peace and security of the academic environment.

The provost said that the activities of the ‘Concerned Staff’ started on May 27.

He said that the concerned staff occupied the college’s premises and organised a protest with the intent to forcefully remove him from office as the provost.

According to him, the ‘Concerned Staff’ claimed that his tenure as the provost expired on May 26, contrary to the provision of the Federal Colleges of Education Act of 2023.

“I wish to also bring to your attention that the group organised a protest on the college’s premises.

“This protest is basically for the mischievous purpose of removing the provost from continuing in office, with a claim of expiration of tenure from 26th May, 2024.

“They have locked up the entrances to the provost’s offices since Monday, May 27, and have denied me and the staff access to the offices, preventing the smooth running of the college and interrupting time-bound administrative decisions.

“All efforts and re-engagement made to the ‘Concerned Staff’ have been frustrated and rebuffed,” he stated.

The provost noted that on June 12 and June 13, a five-member team from the Federal Ministry of Education visited the college to listen to the complaints of the leaders of the aggrieved group.

“Documents were collected from the staff, and they were promised that the minister would do due diligence on their grievances and get back to them.

“Surprisingly, I got a phone call on June 26, at about 1.00 p.m. that some of the concerned staff came to the provost’s lodge for the second time.

“They came with some staff to harass my wife, who is also a lecturer in the college, and my children. They placed a quit notice on the provost’s lodge and gave us seven days to vacate the building,” he added.


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