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Striking non-teaching workers cripple activities in varsities

There is an indication that the ongoing strike by members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, Non-Academic Staff Union and National Association of Academic Technologists nationwide may have paralysed administrative and, to a large extent, academic activities at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; University of Lagos, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta; University of Uyo and the Federal University, Otuoke, among others.


 Our correspondents gathered that the striking non-teaching workers in the universities held a meeting on Monday and resolved to continue the action until the Federal Government releases their earned allowances to them.

 A statement by the Joint Action Committee of the unions, directing the workers to intensify efforts on the strike in their various universities, was read at various congresses.

 The statement, which was obtained by one of our correspondents on Monday, was signed by the Public Relations Officer of SSANU, Salaam Abdussobur.  It quotes the Chairman of the Joint Action Committee of the unions, Comrade Samson Ugwoke, as asking the workers to stop concessions earlier granted out of compassion and sympathy.

The statement reads in part, “The strike action embarked upon by the JAC of the three non teaching unions is still ongoing.

 “We are not unaware of the antics of many vice-chancellors and managements of universities, as well as their moves to create a semblance of normalcy by announcing resumption of students and other activities, while also seizing every medium to blackmail our branch leaders into ensuring that the strike action is broken.

 “While the strike is not targeted at any individual university management, the attitudes of many VCs have shown an unprecedented immaturity and irresponsibility that makes them complicit in the ongoing strike action.

“We have made the action too comfortable for these VCs and, as such, you are hereby directed to ensure that all services at your disposal are withdrawn. Drivers attached to VCs and other principal officers should be withdrawn. All units including VC’s office, Works and Services, Health Centre, Bursary, Registry, ICT, MIS, Audit and others, should be closed down and none of our members are to be found within the vicinity of their offices.”

 The workers were also asked not to be found within the premises of their various institutions.

Administrative and academic activities at the OAU, UNILAG, FUNAAB, UNIUYO and FUO have been paralysed since the strike began last November.

It was gathered that the strike has taken its toll on the students of the institutions, especially the fresh students, who have to depend on members of the three unions for registration and other processes.

A senior non-teaching worker at FUO, on condition of anonymity, said, “The technologists are in charge of the laboratories. The strike has been affecting the science students in their practicals. The new students have to do their registrations, pay their fees, among others.”