By Gbenga Olarinoye, Ola Ajayi & Victor Ahiuma-Young
The woes of the nationâ€™s university system, worsened by the ongoing strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), will from today be compounded as members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), begin a seven-day warning strike.
SSANU seeks, among others, demand for new salary negotiation, 65 years retirement age, university autonomy, and the payment of 2003 to 2005 monetisation arrears.
Its president, Mr. Promise Adewusi, told Vanguard on telephone that after the warning strike, if government remained recalcitrant, a total and indefinite strike would be declared
Adewusi, who is also a Deputy President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), decried government’s attitude to the nationâ€™s tertiary educational system and welfare of its workers
He declared that in line with last week’s National Executive Council (NEC) of SSANU leaders, a total and full scale seven-day warning strike would commence today by members in all the nationâ€™s university system until further notice.
According to him: â€œAs you are aware, our NEC meeting has directed that the strike should commence Monday 29 which is tomorrow (today) if after seven days nothing tangible comes from government on our demands.
”I can sadly tell you that nothing has come from government. Therefore, the strike will commence as scheduled.â€
As a result of the strikes by the unions, authorities of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife, Osun State, over the weekend, ordered the students to proceed on temporary break.
A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Mr. Abiodun Olarewaju, directed students to vacate their halls of residence with immediate effect.
All foreign students in the institution were, however, asked to liaise with the Dean of Students Affairs for arrangement on their stay on campus for the period of the break.
Also, the institutionâ€™s Post-JAMB screening slated for Saturday, July 4, has been postponed indefinitely.
Toeing the same line, authorities of the University of Ibadan have also given a two-week break to academic and non-academic staff.
According to a statement signed by the institutionâ€™s Registrar, Mrs. Omotayo Ikotun, and made available to Vanguard at the weekend, the compulsory holiday begins today.
The statement stated that the Senate took the decision during its meeting on Friday having considered the ongoing total and indefinite strike by ASUU and the one week warning strike by the Non- Academic Staff Union (NASU).
It read: â€œAll members of staff (teaching and non-teaching) should proceed on 10 working days leave,â€ while â€œstudents should go home for two weeks pre-examination break.â€