OLA AJAYI, IBADAN
THREE unions in the University of Ibadan Tuesday paralyzed all academic and administrative activities as they began a one-week warning strike over the non-implementation of the 2009 agreement by the federal Government.
The unions are Senior Staff Association of Universities, Non-Academic Staff Union and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
The strike also disrupted the earlier rescheduled second semester examination that was to start yesterday.
As a result of the strike, workers both academic and non-academic staff, visitors to the institution had hectic time gaining entry through the main gate.
Several vehicles were blocked by members of the unions who displayed placards with various inscriptions. Some of the placards read, 3 yrs after 2009 agreement, FGN yet to fully honour agreement, show human face to varsity workers, let justice and equity be your guiding principle for achieving peace in Nigerian Universities.
While speaking with newsmen, the Chairman, SSANU, Comrade Jonathan Olu Omolona said the strike was to compel the federal Government to honour the agreement which include 65 retirement age and other demands.
Omolona said, “the strike is on because of the unimplemented 2009 agreement. The major part of the agreement has not been implemented, monetary aspect has also not been cash-backed we have exhausted our patience. We feel the government is not sincere.
We only hear that trillions of naira is being budgeted, up to now, we have not seen where the money is going to. By next year, the agreement will be due for review. We are telling the government to be prepared for the review”
Since 2009, he stressed, they have been signing one paper or the other. But, we never see anything that comes out of it.
His counterpart from NASU, Comrade Olusola Fatoki who was flanked by the NAAT chairman, Comrade Oyelade Oyesola explained that nobody forced the government to sign the agreement. It is a product of collective bargaining. Government is not sincere. The public may be looking at us as trouble makers, but we are not. We are fighting for the future of these our students. Most of those in government do not have their children schooling here in Nigeria. So, they feel less concerned about the poor standard of education here”.
“If we don’t fight for these our students today, their tomorrow will be bleak. We are appealing to government wake up and do what they should do”, he said.
A student who spoke with Vanguard pleaded with the government to quickly address the situation so that the school calendar would not be disrupted. She complained that the second semester examination that was to hold now could not hold again due to this strike.
The leaders said the strike would last one week after which the National executive Council of the unions would meet to discuss the way forward.