In a moving and emotional reaction to his reinstatement into the service of the Lagos State University of Science & Technology (LASUSTECH) which was formerly known as Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Comrade Semiu Akinlawon Fasasi, former Chairman, Non – Academic Staff Union (NASU), LASPOTECH Chapter, who was disengaged three years ago alongside 3 other colleagues, has said that he lost everything during the three years that he was out of work.
He commended the Governor of the state, Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu and his Special Adviser on Education, Mr Tokunbo Wahab for the gesture.
The newly appointed acting Vice Chancellor, Dr Nurudeen Olaleye, announced the recall of Fasasi and 3 others at a Town hall meeting with staff of the institution, held at the School of Agriculture Auditorium, LASUSTECH, Ikorodu main campus, on Friday, February 12, 2022.
Comrade Fasasi was in the forefront of the struggle for the implementation of CONTISS 15, improvement of staff welfare and promotion among others demands during the controversial administration of Mr Samuel Sogunro, the immediate past Rector of the erstwhile Polytechnic.
The struggle pitted NASU and other two unions – Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) and Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) chapters of the former Polytechnic, against the institution’s administration and government.
Fasasi was disengaged in 2019 alongside Mrs Yemisi Olabisi, Secretary, NASU, Mrs. Muinat Shittu Ibrahim and Mrs. Abisola Afolabi, known as ‘NASU 4’.
In his first reaction when he was contacted by THE IMPACT after his readmission, Comrade Fasasi said that he lost everything except his life during his trying three years.
“Within the three years of my disengagement from work, I had lost everything except my life”, he said.
“My wife left, I couldn’t take responsibility for my children, my car got grounded beyond repair and abandoned in the mechanic workshop”, he added.
“The landed property I had acquired with my cooperative savings was taken away from me and I lived consistently on the support of my colleagues and families. No doubt, life became unbearable but the grace and mercy of God kept me going”, Fasasi recalled.
He described the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr Tokunbo Wahab, as a messenger of God for his intervention in the matter and also thanked the Governor of the state, Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu for absorbing him and 3 others back into the system.
Fasasi said that he met the special Adviser last year and he was surprised with his humility and humane personality.
“TKW: The Messenger of God! Precisely 2nd August, 2021, I met the man named Tokunbo Wahab, the very first time, who happened to be the Special Adviser on Education to Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu”, he said.
“I had thought I am meeting a Lion who would further devour me and probably pronounced me dismissed instead of the initial disengagement I had suffered which he inherited from the immediate past administration sequel to an industrial action I led as Chairman of Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) in LASPOTECH now Lagos State University of Science and Technology.
“But instead, I met a very humble and humane personality par excellence. He was pleading profusely to have kept us waiting beyond the time he gave to meet with us on possible resolution of issues surrounding my disengagement and three others.
“Can anyone ask where he was, that kept us waiting? He was at the Lagos State Executive Council Meeting! Instantly, he won my heart and I started to respect his personality more than his office till date and will do so forever even when it seemed my reinstatement is not going to become a reality”, Fasasi said.
“No doubt, the Man, ‘TKW’, is a messenger of His Excellency, Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, but he is more of a messenger of The Almighty God. Anyone may disagree on this assertion of mine”.
The former union leader also thanked Governor Sanwo – Olu and his entire cabinet for making the reinstatement of the ‘NASU 4’ possible.
“The issues surrounding my disengagement, no doubt, are a very knotty one and would take a man with a lot of integrity, dexterity, patience and fear of God to handle. Alas! TKW did this amazingly.
“I want to thank Almighty God, His Excellency Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo – Olu, the amiable Special Adviser on Education (SAE), Tokunbo Wahab, the entire Cabinet of the State and all those that made it happen.
“It’s marvelous in my heart. My memoir will never go without a note of this. I am very grateful to the Lagos State Government as a whole”, Comrade Fasasi said