Following the recent crises at the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), a coalition comprising WorkBond International Network (WIN), United Action for Democracy (UAD), and other civil society organisations’ intervention platforms have intervened to save the higher institution from the series of crises tearing it apart.
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According to Omotaje Olawale, the Director of WorkBond International Network (WIN), the coalition condemned the siege to the institution by armed military men during the period of the 6-month strike.
It would be recalled that workers of the institution had embarked on a strike action owing to “the legitimate demands of all the staff unions for the implementation of CONTISS 15 Harmonisation Scheme as well as the rudderless, gross mismanagement and mal-administration of the school.”
According to Olawale, the strike resulted in the dismissal and incarceration of members of staff of the institution which prompted concerned organisations to stage a protest at the Lagos House of Assembly in a bid to resolve the lingering crisis.
However, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was said to have waded into the crisis with a promise to resolving all the lingering issues.
“The Governor after the July 12 protest to the House of Assembly and his office by Civil Society Organisations and workers ensured the release of the 38 detained LASPOTECH workers, laid down the process for the reinstatement of dismissed staff and pledged that as the Visitor of the institution, he shall inaugurate a Visitation Panel to undertake a holistic appraisal of all the ailments afflicting the school with a view to finding lasting remedies,” Olawale said in a statement.
The coalition further urged the Lagos state government to proffer a permanent solution to the troubles the higher institution of learning is facing.
In their demand, the group said: “We request that the Lagos State Government embrace the dire necessity for comprehensive funding of education up to at least the UNESCO recommended 26% of the State’s Annual Budget; intellectual freedom; Democratic and transparent management; Autonomy as well as Civic social responsibility as the irreducible desideratum for qualitative, functional and People’s social-friendly education policy in the State.
“The State should direct the immediate cancellation of any form of armed siege be it by the Police or OPC on the campus. This is not just anti-intellectual but intensely antithetical to academic serenity.”