NO TO A FURTHER DELAY
*Trade union and civil society organizations must step up mass actions to further press for the immediate release of the panel’s report as well as reversal of all draconian measures under which workers in the institute groan *
The Oyo State Chapter of Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) expresses its dissatisfaction and worries over the delay in the report of Presidential Panel of Inquiry set up by the Federal Government to investigate range of industrial disputes that have engulfed Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Ibadan for the past 10 months.
At the same time, we call on trade unions, civil society organizations and well meaning Nigerians to join the campaign for immediate and unconditional reversal of all forms of anti-workers policies like proscription of union activities, non-payment of salaries etc., holding sway in the institute as well as reinstatement of the 95 workers whom were also arbitrarily sacked by the Prof. Malacky Akoroda, the Executive Director of the institute.
It is important to state that following series of mass actions and programmes like protest to media houses, press conferences; rallies; public distribution and circulation of leaflets organized by CDWR, Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) and trade unions like Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) along the committee of the sacked 95 CRIN workers, the Federal Government through the office of the Secretary to the Federal Government sometime around March 2014, set up a Presidential penal of inquiry to investigate the root cause of crisis in CRIN and recommend ways through which peace and orderliness could be restored in the institute.
Between Wednesday 9th and 11th Friday, July, 2014, this committee which used Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, as the venue of its operation received thousands of petitions from various categories of CRIN workers and management staff. As a matter of fact, representatives of all the existing trade unions in CRIN, sacked workers even members of the community in which the instituted is situated made verbal presentation before the panel.
Unfortunately, since that time till now, nothing has been heard in terms of recommendation or report of the panel let alone the implementation. As a result of the continuous delay of this recommendation Prof. Malacky Akoroda has been unduly emboldened to the extent that no fewer than fifty apartments belonging to some of the sacked workers who reside in the staff quarters within the institute have been sealed up.
Right now, CRIN has been turned to a banana republic where workers are arbitrarily issued query for not greeting the “Almighty Executive Director”. Civil Defense officers are permanently stationed in the institute to be intimidating workers. Also, there have been instances where workers were reportedly slapped and beaten by Civil defense corps. The height of this draconian measure is that workers salaries are not regularly paid
As an organization with age-long history of defending and advancing the democratic right and aspiration of workers and all oppressed strata in the society, CDWR is demanding the release and implementation of the report of the panel while calling on Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), civil society organizations and well meaning Nigerians to join CDWR, SPN and Committee of Sacked CRIN workers in a joint struggle to ensure a total reversal of all forms of draconian measure under which workers in the institutes presently groan.
Coordinator CDWR, Oyo State Chapter