By Kemi Akintokun
Lagos – A group, Nigeria Civil Society Coalition, on Wednesday urged the parties involved in the crisis rocking the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO) to embrace peace.
Mr Emmanuel Ayodeji, the spokesperson for the coalition, said at a news conference in Lagos that the crisis was an attempt to bring the institute and its leadership into disrepute.
Ayodeji, also of the Media Right Advocacy, said findings by the body revealed that the crisis started immediately Dr Chima Igwe was appointed as the Acting Director-General of the institute.
“It will be recalled that Nigeria and particularly the media space, had been saturated with the happenings and events going on at FIIRO.
“This happening is geared toward forcefully removing Dr Chima Igwe, from office as the Director-General of FIIRO, based on grounds unknown to the law and amidst picketing and protests.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that FIIRO workers had two weeks ago embarked on series of protests, calling for the removal of Igwe as the acting director-general of the institute.
The governing board of the agency was also said to have forwarded a report on the crisis to the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.
On Monday the ministry was said to have sent a delegation to Lagos to dialogue with the aggrieved workers in a bid to stop the protests.
Ayodeji said: “We can’t afford to continually sacrifice our best on the altar of regional sensationalism, tribalism and blackmail, hence, our intervention as a civil coalition group.
“We belief in the sanctity of institutions in Nigeria and the need for decorum when issues arise.
“Our findings show that plot to remove the director-general is allegedly being hatched by top members of staff of the institute with attempt to discredit his qualifications that qualifies him for the position.”
He added that Igwe had distinguished himself as a beacon of excellence, accountability and transparency in Nigeria and beyond
According to him, Igwe is also a role model for millions of Nigerians, irrespective of their affiliations, religion or tribe.
FIIRO, established in 1956 by the World Bank, has over the years recorded over 250 Research and Development results with a minimum of 50 of them packaged, tested commercially and technically, and already in market.