Women workers of the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Ibadan, Oyo State, yesterday protested half naked against the institute’s Executive Director, Prof. Malachy Akoroda.
Most of the women stripped to their underwear joined their male colleagues in occupying the main gate of the institution at Idi-Ayunre to force the Federal Government to remove Akoroda.
The protesters shocked residents and motorists as they sang for over one hour, against the director, who they accused of maladministration.
They barricaded the gate with logs of wood and loads of sand while a team of armed policemen kept close watch nearby.
The protesting workers were also supported by the some community leaders and youths.
A paper jointly signed by the Baale of Odo-Ona Nla, Chief Yekeen Ogunyode and a representative of the workers, Solomon Adebiyo, reads: “Efforts have been made through letters to the President about the lingering crisis in CRIN.
“Petitions have been sent to anti-graft agencies on mismanagement of fund through white elephant projects.
“Despite all efforts, he has continued to intimidate, harass and victimise all those involved in the struggle to expose his maladministration through queries, warnings, open confrontation and promotion of insubordination.
“To further complicate a bad situation, he has singlehandedly proscribed the unions illegally to enable him perpetrate his tyrannical rule.”
Ogunyode and other community leaders said they had tried to ensure that the matter was settled amicably but that the Director did not listen.
“We cannot continue to fold our arms and watch this institute rot or taken away from our land. Most of our people are here. We want peace and I think peace cannot return to this place, until he is removed,” Ogunyode said.
Akoroda said he could not comment on the issue, adding that as a civil servant he reports to the permanent secretary in the supervising ministry.
He said: “I am a civil servant. I don’t talk. I write. I will write to the permanent secretary. Let them write to the permanent secretary also.”