Nigerian university orders staff to clear grasses

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A recent circular directing non-academics at the University of Calabar to clear grasses has sparked controversy.

In a memo signed by the Registrar of the Nigerian university, Mr Gabriel Egbe, it asked them to resume work with cutlasses, hoes, buckets and brooms to clear grasses, sweep offices and other tools.

The staff described the circular an “Unusual Press Release as an insult to the non-teaching Staff Members of the University Of Calabar”.

In a statement jointly signed by Mr Joseph Eteng, Chairman JAC 3 UCB; Ms Alice Promise Oduyaya, Secretary JAC 3 UCB; and Mr Alex Abraham Oko, Treasurer JAC 3 UCB, on Thursday, November 26, 2020, and made available to, the staff expressed dissatisfaction and rejects the act.

“Sequel to the circular released by the SA labour yesterday the 25th November 2020, we therefore wish to express our disappointment on the subject matter and further regrets at the barbaric publication making rounds on social media and notice boards.

“The leadership of JAC 3 of NAAT, NASU and SSANU rejects this act in all ramifications and vehemently stands against this unholy practice which we term as Non-Teaching staff Humiliation Approach, of the 21st century.

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“We expect and pray for good innovations in the system, and not this total humiliation which is an embarrassment against the Non – Teaching staff members in particular and the University as a whole.

“Imagine the humiliation where members of Non-Teaching staff of UNICAL come to office with machetes, hoes, brooms, buckets and tattered attire for sanitation of the University environment. It begs the glaring question, ‘where are the daily paid workers with specific responsibilities on this?’ The total disregard for our dignity and portrayal of Non-Teaching Staff as second class citizens of the University of Calabar is a fallacious inference from spurious premises and must be addressed accordingly for reparations.

“It is quite unfortunate that the management of the university of Calabar have no regard for the Non Teaching staff members of the system. We cannot allow our members to be subjected to this unbelievable and unhealthy act. This is the first of its kind in all Nigeria Universities and even beyond.

“We therefore call on our teaming members to disregard this publication and dress properly for their assigned duties as required in their job description. We are disappointed, and will not allow the University management to treat us as Primary school pupils.

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“Please be calm, don’t panic at all. An injury to one is an injury to all. JAC 3 is in God’s hands”, the statement read in full.

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