Fresh protest yesterday rocked university of. Nigeria, Nsukka as Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the university vows to stall the 2018 matriculation of the university over non payment of earned allowances owed universities across the country.
In a peaceful protest yesterday at university of Nigeria, Nsukka workers numbering over 2000 chanting solidarity songs marched to faculties of the university warning staff and students to disregard the planned matriculation slated to hold next Saturday in the university.
Addressing workers of the university JAC chairman Mr. Paul Erua said that the scheduled matriculation would not hold as Senior Staff Association of Nigerian universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff of Universities ( NASU) and National Association of Technologies ( NATS) that made up the Joint Action Committee have been on national strike for the past one month over non implementation of the MoUs which the national body of JAC signed with federal government for three consecutive times but federal government reneged to implement it since 2009 to present.
Mr. Erua noted that there is no going back on the strike till the federal government do the needful by paying the earned allowances to the last kobi, adding that the management of the university of Nigeria, Nsukka went ahead to fixing a date for the university matriculation when workers are on strike using the method of divide and rule to force workers to the side of the management.
” we are warning all faculty officers of the university not to attempt engaging themselves to the so called matriculation as JAC would not hesitate to sanction any of her members found involved in the matriculation on Saturday February 10th 2018.
He said that the strike is total and can not be sabotaged by any faculty officer no matter how highly placed, explaining that students should ignore the matriculation as most of the first year structures have not been giving registration numbers while majority of the students are still grappling to pay school fees and others together with the UNN compulsory laptop per student of the university.
” SSANU, NASU and NATS are more relevant than management of the university, in that respect we cannot succumb to threats and cheapen the unions that has been in existence before the arrival of Prof. Benjamin Ozumba as vice chancellor of the university” he said.
Mr. Erua noted that the vice chancellor using all manner of antics’ have arrested him twice without any cogent reasons to justify the arrests, noted that the strike is a national issue while the vice chancellor Prof Ozumba decided to take it personal.
” police recently invaded my house around 3pm, pulled down my window and forced themselves in, tear gased my house and my wife fainted while I was bundled away with my two sons who were later released while I was taken to Enugu state commissioner of police Danmallam Mohammed who brokered peace but the vice chancellor bluntly refused to adhere to it.
He explained that the CP Enugu state police command noted that” there is a serious gap between the management and the unions and the management as a matter of necessity should call the unions for a meeting and dialogue with them”
” there was some allowances unpaid to staff, the management should go and pay” he quoted the. CP.
He said that the CP gave the advice on January 24th 2018 and up till now the vice chancellor refused to convene the meeting instead went ahead to schedule for matriculation of first year students of the university, adding that the matriculation is the statutory functions of the non teaching staff and we have sensitized and warned members not to appear for the matriculation because of the ongoing national strike across universities in the country.
” if the matriculation holds, there will be break down of law and order. Please warn the vice chancellor to desist from holding the matriculation on Saturday to avert wrath of the workers” he noted.
Reports have it that while the peaceful protest was ongoing students jumped out from lecture halls and joined the protest in solidarity with the workers, rejoicing over the cancellation of the scheduled matriculation of the university.
Efforts made to get comment of the vice chancellor Prof Benjamin Ozumba proved abortive as his was not on campus while he mobile phone lines could not be reached as at the time of this report.