Activities paralysed as non-academics in Nigerian universities begin strike

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A few non-academics standing at the gates of the Lagos State University on Monday, 19th August, 2019 after shutting it to commence the SSANU, NASU strike
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Academic and other activities were on Monday paralysed at the various universities in Nigeria as non-academics began their five-day warning strike.

Some universities had to halt and postpone the screening test for candidates seeking admissions in some cases while students who went for lectures were turned back as their lecture rooms were not left open as a result of the industrial action.

EduCeleb.com had earlier quoted the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) spokesperson, Mr Abdussobur Salaam of declaring that the strike followed the Nigerian government’s alleged negligence to the demands of the public universities workers. SSANU is embarking on the strike along with the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU).

Candidates who were on ground for admissions screening into the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom state were left frustrated and stranded as the university failed to conduct its earlier scheduled admission screening exercise.

This is not unconnected to the ongoing strike. Those at the University of Lagos to make enquiries at the admissions office ahead of the screening scheduled for later in month also experienced similar situations as no one was available to attend to them.

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At Lagos State University, non-academics were seen locking a few of the offices that had hitherto opened in defiance to the directive from the national leadership of the unions. In the process, staff members in such offices were forced out.

At the University of Benin, the University of Ibadan, the University of Abuja and the Federal University of Technology, Owerri similar situations were recorded.

The workers were also seen chanting solidarity songs as they march on to designated points of convergence with their schools’ premises to enforce compliance.

Gates to these schools were partially or totally locked to prevent the free flow of vehicular traffic and access.

Chairman of NASU, UNIBEN chapter, Anthony Igbinosa, expressed satisfaction with members’ compliance.

“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, until we get directives from the national body .

“So far, if we have a hundred, I would rate it 99 % .”

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At FUTO, chairman of SSANU, Franklin Matthews, who briefed journalists said the industrial action was to compel government to meet their demands.

He said that part of the demands of the union was to include granting their request on university staff school matters, as well as renegotiation of the 2009 agreement.

“Following the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum given to the government and its failure to show firm commitment towards resolving issues relating to payment of earned allowances, and university staff schools matter, the unions have decided to go on strike.

“The strike is total and comprehensive for the five days.

“No form of concession or internal arrangement should be made with management , while all members must be directed to stay away from their duty posts.

“The decision of the national executive councils of the two unions to the effect that branches that default in compliance should be sanctioned would be complied with should any member disobey.”

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