By Kolade Larewaju
THE crisis rocking the nationâ€™s education sector yesterday heightened as members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) of the University of AgriculturÂ Â Â e Abeokuta, (UNAAB) shut all the entrances that lead to the campus following the directive from its national body.
The main entrance to the University was shut by the Unions as early as 8.00am, preventing top principal officers and management staff of the school like the Deputy Vice-ChancellorÂ (Development), Professor Tunde Olagoke and Secretary to the Governing Council, Mr. Leke Adeboye, from gaining entrance to resume for duty.
Addressing the workers, the chairman of the SSANU, Comrades Abdul Salaam, NASU Chairman, Ibukun Fadairo and NAT Chairman Adebukola Adetiloye, said the Unions decided to carry out the protest due to failure of the Federal Government to accede to its request that the university system must be autonomous with all unions inclusive; extension of years of retirement to 65; better condition of service and better salary packages.
Workers of the university that were on night duty were locked inside the school while the protesters sang abusive songs, calling on all stakeholders in the education sector to prevail on the Federal Government on the need for it to accede to their demands.
Salaam noted that the directives of its national body was also to withdraw all members of the union conceded to the University Management which included members of the security unit, medical doctors, nurses, engineers and other cadres of essential services.
Salaam in berating the Federal Government said, â€œIt is very painful, if government could continue to perpetrate acts of deliberate mischief and wickedness in our university system. If four unions could embark on a strike on the same issues, and only one Union is invited for talks, it shows the dangerous path government has chosen to thread.
â€œTo consider our strike opportunistic after two years of tough negotiation and three months of strike with our salaries not paid is evil and wicked and we will resist the antics of the obdurate, obnoxious and rapacious regime with all our might.â€
The union leaders, insisted that they would not return to work, until their demands are met and said that security of lives and property in the university could not be guaranteed as long as the university remained shut.