‘Affront On Education Minister,’ Provost Condemns Disruption of Academics At FCE Yaba

. Alleges threat to life, property as some aggrieved staff lock up his office for one month

. Why Ademola Azeez can’t continue as provost- ‘Concerned Staff’


The Provost of Federal College of Education (FCE) Technical Yaba, Dr. Ademola Azeez, has condemned the continued protest and disruption of academic and administrative activities at the college, describing this as an affront on the minister of education.

Azeez who said this during a virtual press briefing, alleged threat to life and property as some staff locked up his office for one month for no legal reason.

Platforms Africa reports that some staff under the name “Concerned staff” have engaged in protest at the school since May 27, putting the office of the Provost under lock and key.

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They have accused the Provost of sit-tight syndrome, alleging that he had refused to vacate office despite what they called the expiration of his tenure.

Platforms Africa reports that this protest led some academic Union in the school writing to the ministry of education to seek interpretation for the new act of five-year single term, which came into being weeks after the Provost began his second tenure.

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A reply memo through, which the ministry interpretation the act showed that the act does not affect Azeez and two other Provost who received their letter before the act came into being.

Reacting to the issue, Azeez who alleged that the protest was a deliberate act to set the progress at the institution in reverse gear, said; “Seeing that internal means seemed abortive and hindered, I hereby seek the intervention of the Honourable Minister of Education, Security Agencies and law enforcement agencies in the country and our ever proactive, investigative and analytic media to intervene to ensure peace and tranquillity and curtail the unlawful acts of the said “Concerned Staff.”

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He continued; “Today, some elements within our system are trying to set us back owing to their selfish ambitions that are not congruent with the vision and mission of the founding fathers.

“May I inform you here that some staff suddenly gathered under the devilish name of “Concerned Staff” since May 27th, 2024 and have been engaging in unlawful disruption of academic and administrative activities of our dear College.

“I wish to bring to your attention, the continued occupation by some group of staff under the name “Concerned Staff”, organising protest on the College’s premises beginning from Monday, 27th May, 2024 for the mischievous purpose of removing the Provost from continuing in office with claim of expiration of tenure from 26th May, 2024, contrary to the provision of the “Federal Colleges of Education Act, 2023 and the interpretation of same by your good office.

Background of the Crisis

After the events following the enactment of the Federal Colleges of Education Act, 2023, the executive members of Senior Staff Union in Colleges of Education in Nigeria (SSUCOEN) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) under the name Joint Action Committee in the College had written your good office for the interpretation and clarification of Section 17 of the Act by the letter captioned “Federal Colleges of Education Act, 2023: Request for proper and wholesome Implementation of the Federal Colleges Act, 2023 to avoid Crisis in the Colleges of Education Sector.”


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The signatories to the said letter written under the name “Joint Action Committee” were Chairman and Secretary of Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (Nwachukwu Ikechi Augustine and Kazeem Olasupo Quadri and Chairman and Secretary of Non-Academic Staff Union (Alonge Olasunkanmi Sefiu and Odukunle Taiwo David) in my College.

Immediately the response from the Federal Ministry of Education was released to the Joint Action Committee, the NASU Executives made a release affirming the interpretation of the Honourable Minister confirming the four-year tenure of re-appointment with effect from 26th May, 2023. NASU asked its members to go about their activities peacefully and not participate in any act that can disrupt the college activities.

On this Azeez said; “It is important to inform your good office that there are four (4) Staff Unions in the College, namely:
1. Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU).
2. National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
3. Senior Staff Union in Colleges of Education in Nigeria (SSUCOEN).
4. Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU)
All the national bodies of the four Unions have expressly stated their displeasure towards the illegal protest going on in the college. However, some individuals alleged to be SSUCOEN members who are now hiding under the name “Concerned Staff” have resolved against the extant position of the Act, the instructions of the disposition of the respective trade unions and embarked on different activities ranging from protest to disruption of both academic and administrative activities.

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Industrial actions are usually initiated by unions after consultation with their members, who often vote in favour of such an action. In addition, industrial actions are embarked upon after all efforts at resolving such issues have been exhausted but, on this case, some elements within the College decided to take laws into their hands by forming an illegal association known as the “Concerned Staff”. Even after forming illegal association, because I deeply think about all staff, I was ready to listen to them by offering to address their concerns. But rather than engage in dialogue, they have resorted to acts of violence by illegally using some staff and others who are not college permanent staff to lock up the provost’s office, intimidate law abiding staff and students and perpetrating violence and engaging in disruptive activities that are contrary to the act establishing the college as well as the constitution of Nigeria. In the last four weeks since they embarked on this illegal action, I have tried to resolve it peacefully by engaging with leaders of reason in the state and country, but all these efforts have come to nought. In light of this, as the chief security officer of this institution, it is my responsibility to protect the life and properties of the college.

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“Therefore, I have no other option other than to ask all of the disgruntled staff to immediately desist from perpetrating violence against the staff and students who are legitimately doing their work in the college.

“The activities of the “Concerned Staff,” have been disrupting the general running of the college, with a threat to peace and security of the academic environment. They have currently locked up the entrance to the Provost’s offices since Monday, 27th May, 2024 and have denied me and the staff access to the offices within the building, preventing smooth running of the College and interrupting time bound urgent administrative decisions.

Other Attempts at Peaceful Resolution

“On Wednesday, 29th May, 2024, a team representing the Committee of Provosts led by the Chairman, Committee of Provosts, Professor Faruk Rasheed Haruna, Provost of Federal College of Education, Abeokuta and Provost, Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, came to the College with the view to broker peace and to listen to the complaints of the “Concerned Staff” for the purpose of resolving the matter. While the meeting was on, the leaders of the “Concerned Staff” had already invited the Lagos State Chairperson (Mrs. Funmi Sessi) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to the Provost’s Lodge disrupting the said meeting with despicable chants and defamatory altercation with resolve to continuously hold the college at ransom.

“The “Concerned Staff” and their allies have resolved to violent acts as they attacked the Lodge’s gates and harassing me, my wife and children emotionally, on the supposed day of meeting for an attempt at peaceful internal resolution. All efforts to dissuade them seem abortive, safe the intervention of the Nigerian Police.

“In further attempts to broker peace, I contacted some important human right activists bearing in mind their relationship with the state trade union, who later called the Lagos State Chairperson of NLC. As a result of this effort, Lagos State NLC Chairperson’s intervened and a truce meeting was called on Saturday, 1st May, 2024 at an office in Ikeja GRA where the leaders of the “Concerned Staff” were invited and were listened to. I was later invited to brief me on the outcome of their discussion and advised me to get in touch with the ‘agitators’. On Sunday, 2nd of June, 2024, I made calls and sent message to reach Mr Nwachukwu Augustine, the Chairman of SSUCOEN in the College who is a prominent member of the “Concerned Staff” and who attended the meeting at the GRA office in order to open up discussions with his other colleagues. All efforts to engage them in meaningful discussion were abortive. All efforts and re-engagement made to protesting members of “Concerned Staff” have been frustrated and rebuffed.

“After these concerted efforts from me, I made another letter the to the Honourable Minister of Education in Abuja to relay the personal efforts made and equally gave a brief with the Minister who promised to look at my letter and give a directive on the way forward.

“Between 12 and 13th of June, 2024, a Five Member Team from the Federal Ministry of Education came to the college to listen to the complaint of the leaders of the concerned staff. Documents were collected from them, and they were promised that the Minister would do the due diligence on their grievances and would get back to them. I was opportune to meet with the FME team to answer some of the frivolous allegations from the “Concerned Staff”. I later got the information that the Minister has resolved to invite some leaders of the “Concerned Staff” and members of the College Management team to Abuja next week to resolve the matter finally.

“Surprisingly, I got a phone call from my wife yesterday, June 26th, 2024, at about 1pm, that some of the “Concerned Staff” led by Mr. Nwachukwu Augustine and his secretary, Mr Kazeem Olasupo Quadri, who 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 and my children as well. They placed a “Quit Notice’ on the Provost’s Lodge and gave us 7 days to vacate the building.

“After receiving this sad message, I visited the Lagos State Police Commissioner who gave an instruction to Area C Commander, at Surulere on what to do to stop this harassment and threat to Life by the leaders of the so called “Concerned Staff”. It is glaring that the members of “Concerned Staff” are hell bent to create deliberate crisis and chaos in the College in order to create an atmosphere of ungovernable situation that might force the closure of the peaceful institution. After abortive attempts at peaceful internal resolutions, it is crystal clear that some of the staff behind the protest have ulterior motives, being fuelled by vested interests, other than they want the arbitrators and members of the public to believe.

“I want to conclude that the organisers of the protests in the College are hell bent in disrupting the peaceful academic atmosphere which the College has been enjoying for the past Five (5) years I have been the Provost.

“I hope the Honourable Minister of Education in Abuja will use his good office and expedite action by calling these lawless staff who don’t believe in the rule of law to order.”


“Seeing that internal means seemed abortive and hindered, I hereby seek the intervention of the Honourable Minister of Education, Security Agencies and law enforcement agencies in the country and our ever proactive, investigative and analytic media to intervene to ensure peace and tranquillity and curtail the unlawful acts of the said “Concerned Staff.”

Platforms Africa

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