Home News Union, Civil Society Petition Tinubu Over Verbal Attacks Against FIIRO DG

Union, Civil Society Petition Tinubu Over Verbal Attacks Against FIIRO DG

by Edit

By Our Reporter

ABUJA – The Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions (ASURI) and a coalition of civil society organisations have called on President Bola Tinubu to intervene in what they described as coordinated xenophobic comments and actions against the Director General/Chief Executive of Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO).

Acting under the auspices of the ASURI/Civil Society Coalition for Research Funding and Strategies for National Transformation, the petitioners are praying the President to disregard the “meddlesomeness” of the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) and caution a member of the House of Representatives who they alleged made disparaging remarks about the Chief Executive of FIIRO, Dr. (Mrs.) Jummai Adamu Tutuwa.

In a letter titled, “FERVENT APPEAL FOR PROMPT PRESIDENTIAL INTERVENTION OVER COORDINATED XENOPHOBIC COMMENTS AND ACTIONS TO UNDERMINE THE BEST PERFORMING DIRECTOR GENERAL OF RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS IN NIGERIA RESULTING TO PANIC AMONGST NON-INDIGENES SERVING AT THE FEDERAL INSTITUTE OF INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH (FIIRO) OPERATIONAL HEADQUARTERS AT OSHODI,” the ASURI/Civil Society Coalition, made up of over 35 non-governmental organisations, frowned at remarks purportedly made by the Honourable member representing Mushin 2 Federal Constituency of Lagos State in the House of Representatives, Hon. Moses Oluwatoyin Fayinka, during a public event within the premises of FIIRO in Lagos.

The Coalition wants the President to intervene in what they described as “coordinated xenophobic comments and actions to undermine the best performing Chief Executive of Research Institutions in Nigeria,” an act which they claimed posed a threat to the peace and stability the Institute, thus resulting in panic among non-indigenes serving at the Operational Headquarters of FIIRO.

According to the Coalition, “it is on record that Hon. Fayinka, who was at FIIRO to receive an Award, danced to the gallery of unpopular opinion by remarking in full view of the video camera that Dr. (Mrs.) Tutuwa is a non-Yoruba who comes from the North. We believe that such conduct and utterance undermine the dignity of the esteemed office that Hon. Fayinka holds and could potentially disrupt the harmonious working environment necessary for the advancement of research and development in our nation.”
The six-page petition, jointly signed by 37 representatives of the organisations, says: “That xenophobic remark by the respected Honourable gives the wrong impression that it is only Yoruba people who are qualified to head Agencies of the Federal Government located in the South West. This is the first time in its over 60 years of existence that FIIRO has a Chief Executive that is not of Yoruba extraction.
“The remark could have grave and adverse implications for both the unity and security of the nation but we of the ASURI/Civil Society Coalition are ensuring that the video footage of the xenophobic remarks does not fall into wrongs hands, thus preventing it from going viral and being employed by agents of destabilization.”
Of HEDA, it says: “As part of the coordinated campaign of calumny, a non-governmental organization, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), in a recent petition to Mr. President, also made disparaging remarks about the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO) and its Chief Executive.
“While the claim by HEDA that FIIRO is an ‘old dumping ground where nothing meaningful is happening’ is a true picture of the pre-Tutuwa era, it is not only a deliberate misrepresentation of the true situation at this premier research institute today, but also a calculated attempt to deceive the Presidency. To our mind, freedom of expression should be exercised with utmost responsibility and integrity.”

The HEDA petition, “URGENT INTERVENTION TO RESUSCITATE THE FOREMOST RESEARCH INSTITUTE IN NIGERIA: FEDERAL INSTITUTE OF INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH OSHODI (FIIRO),” dated 15th March and signed by its Chairman, one Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, says in part: “Since the appointment of the current Director General of FIIRO, Dr. Jummai A. Tutuwa and the Board, the Institute seems to have forgotten its mandate and productivity. The environment of the Institute in Lagos appears like an old dumping ground without any meaningful activities to justify decades of investment in the Institute…This has resulted in the decay of infrastructure and zero output from the Institute in the last (sic) years.”

Debunking this claim, the ASURI/Civil Society Coalition says, “for almost three years before Dr. (Mrs.) Tutuwa was appointed DG/CEO in 2022, FIIRO had been embroiled in an industrial crisis that halted research and administrative activities at the Institute. Indeed, the Institute was constantly in the news for negative reasons.
“However, upon assuming office as CEO, Dr. (Mrs.) Tutuwa, being familiar with the terrain, the challenges and the potentials of the Institute, hit the ground running by swiftly initiating measures to restore industrial peace. Having resolved all industrial disputes and gotten everyone to return to work, she commenced spirited renovation and rehabilitation of existing infrastructural facilities. Her efforts yielded fruits and have been instrumental to repositioning FIIRO as a leading research institute once again.”

The Coalition also notes that FIIRO has been recognized as the best among all Science-based research institutes and agencies in Nigeria, winning the first position at the annual Science, Technology and Innovation EXPO for two consecutive years, that is, 2023 and 2024, which, according to the petitioners, had never happened in FIIRO’s over 60 years of existence as a Research Institute.

It recalled that before she was appointed the substantive Chief Executive of FIIRO in 2022, Dr. Tutuwa had put up a superlative performance as Director overseeing the Bio-Resources Development Centre (BIODEC) of the National Biotechnology Research and Development Agency (NABRDA) in Jalingo, Taraba State.

The letter, addressed to the President, was copied to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF); the Honourable Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology; the Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology; the Chairman, House Committee on Science and Technology; the Chairman, House Committee on Research Institutes and the Director General, Department of State Service (DSS).

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Online Media Published By

Precise Post Online Media Ltd (RC 7570339)

We are team of competent journalists, crafting compelling data-driven stories; shedding light on global news with precision and authority.

Precise Post @2024 – All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by ObserverNG