Unilorin NASU, SSANU join warning strike

Mosunmola Ayobami, Ilorin

Members of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), University of Ilorin branch on Monday, joined their counterparts in other universities to commence a seven-day warning strike on the need for the Federal Government to pay the withheld four months’ salaries.

A peaceful demonstration led to traffic gridlock at the entrance gate of the University on Monday morning as protesting workers converged to press home their demands.

 Students who were going to the campus to write their examinations pleaded with the government to do the needful for the workers. They condemned the gridlock which they said was frustrating as they had to get to the campus on time for their examination.

Meanwhile, members of the academic staff in the University took control of the activities in the institution in order not to disrupt the ongoing student examination despite the strike.

Director of Corporate Affairs of the University, Mr Kunle Akogun said that the strike did not affect the ongoing students’ examinations.

“We don’t want the strike to affect the students, the Management made a special arrangement so that the ongoing examination would continue,” Akogun said.

Speaking with newsmen in Ilorin, SSANU National Financial Secretary, Comrade Akanbi Mohammad Jiman said they have to embark on the seven-days warning strike after the expiration of the ultimatum given to the federal government on the issue of payment of the four months arrears of salaries.

“As it is today, the government is yet to pay the withheld salaries and that is why we have called the congress to inform our members that the strike has commenced today and until Monday morning that is a one-week warning strike.

“After this warning strike, if the federal government do not yield to our demand, we will call another meeting and take decisive action. 

“Let us assume between today and tomorrow we receive the alert on the unpaid salaries, and the leadership of our union at the national level will come together and give a directive that we should call off the strike. We hope that between now and Friday the government will do the needful. 

“This strike will affect all the school activities as you can see now, examinations are going on in our University here with the absence of non-teaching staff. There is no way they can continue their examination and so many other things. Without non-teaching, the University cannot move,” he said. 

Chairman of SSANU, Comrade Falowo Olushola Naheem said the seven-day ultimatum leadership of the union gave the federal government to pay the withheld salary expired on Monday. Since they did not receive a payment alert, they have to commence the warning strike.

According to him, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu ordered the payment of the four months’ withheld salary, but only ASSU members were paid. In contrast, SSANU and NASU members were left out, adding that this was the reason for the warning strike.

“The stand of SSANU and NASU now is to go on seven days warning strike and that seven days warning strike started today. 

“There are other issues like the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement which is due to be reviewed every three years. If you count 2009 up till this time you know how many years we have. How many three years have gone apart from the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement.

“We also have the N50 billion allowance that was appropriated in the last administration that was to have been paid and appropriated to the government but up till now that money has not been released to the University workers. 

“We are also demanding the immediate reconstitution of the governing council that this current administration dissolved, a lot of activities will not go smoothly if the council is not in place and that is why we request that the council should be immediately reconstituted and the father of all is this our four months withheld salaries. 

“We are not satisfied with this situation because this is an injustice on our part and it is not acceptable to the non-teaching staff of the University system,” Falowo said.

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