Warning strike: Non-academic staff ground varsities

Posted by News Express | 20 August 2019 | 402 times

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Most universities in Nigeria were yesterday grounded following the five-day warning strike called by the non-academic staff of the universities.

Across the country yesterday, many universities were under locks as members of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) called for a shutdown.

At the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) the JAC, made up of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU); Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) called out their members.

Addressing members in Nsukka during a congress, Mr Paul Eruah, the Chairman of UNN-JAC, urged non-teaching staff to go home after the congress in compliance with the directive of the National body as the five-day warning strike had started.

Eruah explained that the 14-day ultimatum the national JAC gave government had expired on August 18, while the warning strike may result in a nationwide indefinite strike if the government failed to meet the demands of the workers.

“After this congress, go home and come back on Monday August 27, when we will declare indefinite nationwide strike,” he said.

It was the same story at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, where activities were grounded.

The staff complied with the warning strike ordered by the union.

Offices at the Registrar and Bursary of the institution were under locks, as none of the members of staff resumed for duties.

However, academic activities were witnessed as students confirmed that classes and lecture halls were opened.

At the Ondo State owned Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), the strike was yet to commence.

According to a source, members of the institution’s NASU and SSANU were contemplating on whether to join the strike from Wednesday.

Commenting on the strike, the Chairman of FUTA JAC, Mr Dele Durojaiye, in a statement, expressed satisfaction with the compliance, stating that it was total.

“We are happy to inform the members of the press that we have at least, recorded 100 per cent national warning strike compliance directives at the FUTA Branch of our Unions. To this end, the warning strike continues until Friday 23rd.”

Similarly, at the University of Benin, activities were paralysed following warning strike by the unions.

A monitoring team set up by NASU to ensure compliance was on ground as at 8.am to ensure compliance by various offices within the university.

Those that opened for work were promptly shut.

Security personnel at the entrance gate to the main campus of the university in Ugbowo had allowed one of the gates open for vehicles and pedestrians.

There was gridlock within and outside the gate due to the closure and this stretched into the Benin – Lagos road.

Also, at the Ekenwan Campus of the University, same was the case as lectures did not hold while activities were also paralysed.

Security men at the gate were seen at their duty posts

Staff in the campus were seen relaxing at the school’s staff club.

Chairman of NASU, UNIBEN, Comrade Anthony Igbinosa, in an interview yesterday, expressed satisfaction with the spirit of among members in the fight for a common course.

He said: ‘So far so good. It has been actually successful. We expected our members to comply and they actually did. If you go round the campus, you will see that everywhere is sealed up and this will continue till Friday 23rd of August 2019.”

It was the same story at the University of Ibadan.

All the gates leading to the campus of the institution were firmly locked with some staff of the institution spreading mats at the entrance of the main gate at Agbowo to prevent vehicular movement.

The blockade denied access to hundreds of academic, non-academic staff and visitors to the institution while it lasted.

When some staff met the main gate and second gates locked, they made a detour to Polytechnic and Ajibode gates. But the gates there were also firmly locked, thus forcing several academic staff, who were eager to teach in their various faculties to trek a long distance.

In some of the faculties visited, students who reside on campus were waiting for lecturers to come. Among them were Faculties of Law, Arts, Social Science, Education and Institute of African Studies.

Speaking with New Telegraph on the cause of the strike, Comrade Wale Akinremi (a lawyer) and Chairman, SSANU, UI, said the strike was effective with 95 per cent compliance.

“Members of the association complied fully with the directive. Except for our members in security section, who had to work, other members in departments and faculties complied fully. Offices and lecture rooms could not open,” he said. (New Telegraph)

Source: News Express

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