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Redeemer’s University justifies mass sack of staff: ‘We have right to hire and fire’

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+Agony of hundreds of sacked employees

AUTHORITIES of Redeemer’s University of Nigeria (RUN) say the alleged sack of over 100 of their academic and non-academic staff is no longer an issue. Neither should it suggest that crisis is rocking the private university owned by the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).

Pastor Adeboye

Pastor Adeboye

ENCOMIUM Weekly  was also told RUN has the right to hire and fire staff at their discretion though all their entitlements, which they claim is above the National University Commission’s (NUC) standard, would be paid.

“I am very sorry for my inability to get in touch with you for sometimes now. The only issue now is the movement to the permanent site. Hope to invite you very shortly to witness the grand ceremony.  We are very busy preparing for our relocation to Ede. No crisis whatsoever here as mentioned by you. VC has been very busy and it will be too bad for him to spare his precious time discussing issue that had long been resolved. Please let us discuss something else, Sir!   May God bless you.”

The above response by RUN’s Directorate of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Tunji Adeleye came on the heels of protests by staffers affected by the purge. Some of them had taken their grievances to RCCG’s General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Daddy G.O, who reportedly took sides with RUN.

We gathered that RUN had to disengage over 100 staff including lecturers to reduce their work force and operational cost.  Some of them, the university claimed, are no longer useful, meaning their services would no longer be needed as RUN moves to its permanent site.

Another version of the story is that RUN has an understanding to employ Ede people, especially in the non-academic unit of the university.  And the opportunity cost of keeping the promise is the massive disengagement currently going on there.

Professor Debo Adeyewa

Professor Debo Adeyewa

Expectedly, the sack has been a source of worry for the affected staff whose source of livelihood has been cut off.  The reason of firing scores of lecturers was hinged on the fact that lecturer-students ratio tilts more to the former.  Hence some lecturers, especially those without Ph.D had to go.

By the time the first batch of staffers started collecting their letters of disengagement, a source (one of the victims) told ENCOMIUM Weekly many of them were wailing and pleading with the VC to reconsider their stance.

“People who just received their letters of disengagement are crying here, lamenting their ordeal.  Some don’t know where to move to now. For me, I’d relocate to Lagos because there is no sustainable job in Mowe.”

Another affected staff who refused to mention his name for fear of victimization said he didn’t plan to start looking for a job this time of the year.  A staff of over eight years, he said he never liked the current leadership of RUN.

But their embarking on peaceful protests on Friday, September 5 and Monday, September 7, 2014, didn’t quite favour them as their sack was a necessary evil. If any reprieve came their way, it would be as a result of the intervention of the GO who ordered all their entitlements paid. They would all receive three months basic salary, while those who have loan obligations would be given flexible repayment plans.

Meanwhile, some of the affected staff who pleaded anonymity has blamed their woes on the Vice Chancellor, Professor Debo Adeyewa whom they alleged, doesn’t care about their welfare like his predecessor, Professor Adewale Tomori, a one-time World Health Organization executive. They even had placards on the day they met the G.O at RCCG International headquarters at the Redemption Camp. They were all demanding the removal of Prof. Adeyewa and return of Prof. Tomori who actually employed most of them.

RUN who initially denied the mass sack of their staff when ENCOMIUM Weekly broke the sad news that affected many families, had on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 subtly admitted they had indeed fired some staff to reposition the institution. The Directorate, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Tunji Adeleye said in a release entitled: REDEEMER’S UNIVERSITY RELOCATES TO ITS PERMANENT SITE, SET FOR CORPORATE TRANSFORMATION… 

“After nine years of sojourn at her temporary site at the Redemption Camp, Mowe, Ogun State, Redeemer’s University will commence relocation to its permanent site in Ede, Osun State by the end of September, 2014. According to a statement credited to the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Debo Adeyewa, the movement of the university to its permanent site will facilitate for the introduction of new programmes like Engineering, Law, Medicine and Environmental Sciences.

He said by its planned relocation to her permanent site, the university is poised to take the lead in the comity of universities in Nigeria through investment in state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure that will make its environment highly conducive for learning.

While commending the efforts of its proprietors for investing on the permanent site project, prompt payment of salaries and other emoluments to staff which are higher than the industry standards, Professor Adeyewa affirmed that for the university to attain a world class status, there is a need for reengineering of  her processes and structures to conform with the global best-in-business.  He noted that the university must sustain its leadership position in the educational sector through its compact workforce of top-notched professionals and academics.

He added that the Governing Council of the university was committed to achieving a corporate transformation that would engender and fast-track her being rated as a highly innovative, efficient and visionary university.”

ENCOMIUM Weekly had also, last week, sent the following questions to RUN’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Debo Adeyewa, only one of which he replied through the university’s image maker, Mr. Tunji Adeleye.

“Sir, ENCOMIUM Weekly would want the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Debo Adeyewa to respond to the following questions in respect of the above issue:

1 Why did RUN disengage some of its academic and non academic staff?

2 How many staff were affected in the purge?

3 Sources say at least 25 lecturers were sacked and over 100 non academic staff disengaged?

4 There were also series of protests asking for the removal of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Debo Adeyewa. How true is that?

5 What was the outcome of the intervention of Redeemed’s G.O, Pastor Enoch Adeboye?

6 How are the affected staff being settled, since many of them are still decrying the lost of their means of livelihood?

7 What is the way out of this crisis?

8 When is RUN officially moving to the Ede,Osun state permanent site.”

Inexplicably sad and disappointed that we published this on our online news portal, encomium.ng on Wednesday, October 1, Mr. Adeleye warned us to desist from tarnishing the image of RUN. He also said, he wouldn’t be giving us information to sell our magazine.  Even when in our tradition of balanced reporting, we gave him the opportunity to put the crisis rocking the university in proper perspective, the RUN’s spokesman who called us on Friday, October 3, 2014 only advised our reporters to thread softly so we don’t go to Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) in future, seeking for help after squandering our goodwill in the name of writing juicy stories to sell our magazine.

Redeemer’s University is a private university in Redemption City, Ogun State, Nigeria. Established in 2005, the university is owned by the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).  RUN operates a collegiate system and awards B.A. and B.Sc. degrees. In the 2012/2013 academic year, the university admitted its first set of M.A., M.Sc, and Ph.D students.

Redeemer’s University, situated less than an hour north of Lagos, currently has over 2000 students. At present it is at a temporary site within the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) camp ground near Mowe, Ogun State, Nigeria. Redeemer’s University’s permanent campus is situated at Ede, Osun State. They’ve already started moving to the place.

As of the 2013/2014 academic year, the university has three colleges -the College of Natural Science, the College of Management Science, and the College of Humanities. There are a total of 26 academic programmes. It is envisaged that an engineering college will be added in the next few years.

RUN’s Vice Chancellor, ‘Debo Adeyewa is a pastor in the RCCG and a Professor of Meteorology from Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. Many distinguished Nigerian academics have taught or are still teaching at the university.

-UCHE OLEHI

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