University Collge Hospital
Members of the Non-Academic Staff and Related Institutions(NASU) University College Hospital(UCH) branch, Ibadan, Nigeria have appealed to the hospital's management to identify and sanction those responsible for the disruption of the union's election to usher in new executives on 15 March, 2023.
Trouble started when the electoral committee, which included the NASU state chairman, Comrade Adepeju announced the disqualification of one of the contestants, Comrade Adekunle Adegboye, for belonging to two different trade unions.
This prompted angry members to disrupt the elections, while the rear windscreen of Comrade Adepeju's vehicle was shattered in the process of leaving the sports field venue of the elections.
The unruly members ignored the the hospital's Director of Administration, who along with other officials walked from the venue to their offices.
However, a section of the membership of the union have accused Comrade Kehinde Abiona-led executives of incompetence and corruption.
They insisted that as a result of the incompetence of the executives, an unspecified number of members were dismissed, while disclosing that the chairman facilitated the use of the union's vehicle without due process.
''Our members were dismissed because of the incompetence of the executives. In addition, our vehicle, a Toyota Sienna which the chairman took to Lagos without due process, was impounded in Lagos and he illegally withdrew N37,000 from NASU account to pay for the fee of the offense. There is also the issue of the mismanagement of the NASU food canteem. Food and drinks are expensive because of the returns, the operators give the chairman,'' they stated.
However, in his reaction, the embattled chairman dismissed the allegations against him, saying, '' the elections were disrupted by non-financial and expelled members of the union who have constituted themselves into foxes and hyneas who want to devour the resources of the union. That is the basis of their allegations.
He also insisted that Comrade Adegboye was disqualified ''premised on the fact that there are two different trade unions on his payslip which contravened part of the NSU electoral guidelines for the conduct of the 2023 NASU elections.;;
On the allegation of incompetence, Comrade Abiona said, '' the issue of the inability to defend members on the panel, is a lie from the pit of hell. Despite several panels that were set up and we attended between March 2019 til date, only one member was dismissed because the CCTV camera caught him stealing and he was still on probationary period.''
He denied the allegation of corruption, saying, '' there is nothing like illegal use. The union's Sienna vehicle was taken tp Lagos in the course of signing a nomination form, in order to contest for a position on our Teaching Hospital Trade Group council. In the course of the official trip, there was an issue with traffic control officers in Lagos and the then branch treasurer, Mrs. Okeowo Aminatu Bayon;le refused to sign for the amount of fine paid, hence I, Comrade Joseph Kehinde Abiona, was fully responsible for the fine. Anybody having contrary views must come out with concrete evidence.''
Comrade Abiona denied all the allegations, adding,'' as at today, 20th March, 2023, the branch executive committee under the able leadership of J.K Abiona is still in charge until another date for the elections is picked. As a responsible leader, I am appealing to financial members of the branch and other stakeholders in the UCH community to remain calm and law-abiding until another date for the elections is picked. Finally, I want to tender an unreserved apology on behalf of all our financial members to the management as well as our national headquarters for the show of shame of miscreants in our midst on the 15th March, 2023.''
Presently, the union secretarait within the premises of the UCH is under lock and key.
Labor leaders have been advised not to be involved in partisan politics as the 2023 general elections draw closer.
This advice was given by the chairman of the Non-Academic Staff and Associated Institutions Union (NASU), Comrade Kehinde Abiona in a caht wiht People.
''It behoves a union leader to be very careful in discussing politics with politicians. These times of political campaigns, politicians are out looking for ways and means to woo workers and trade unions, but after elections they disappear.''
''It is not expected of any civil servant to be partisan. You must not carry the toga of any political party. However, trade unionism cannot be separated from politics. We should watch our backs.
NASU has never been in any secret meeting with any candidate. We only met the Labor party candidate on May day and he signified interest he would like to come around. We in NASU UCH branch, Ibadan have never met any candidate of any political party.
There is a tiny line between trade unions and political parties,''Comrade Abiona stated.
In another development, members of the union in UCH, Ibadan at a congress held on Wednesday resolved that general election is the way to go for the union and that financial members should be allowed to participate in the process of electing leaders in the general election mode and not the process wherein a few elect delegates.
The congress noted that some Heads of Department were in the habit of handpicking delegates for the union, while also reaching a consensus that the present administration, as led by Comrade J.K Abiona should be allowed to continue the good work it had been embarking on beyond 2023.
In addition, the congress passed a vote of implicit confidence in the leadership of the union at the state council and national levels under the able leadership of the President,Dr. Barrister Makola Hassan and the General Secretary, Prince Peters.A. Adeyemi.