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Oyo: Strike paralyses activities in public schools

IBADAN—ACADEMIC work was Wednesday paralysed in all public schools in Ibadan metropolis as teachers in the state complied with the directive of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, Oyo State chapter to observe strike every Wednesday.

The strike would still be used as warning strike to alert the government of alleged insensitivity to the plights of the teachers as regards their unpaid 27.5 per cent salary increase.

The State Secretary of the union, Comrade Olu Abiala, had, last week, conveyed the message of the parent body to them that they should go on strike to compel the state governors where the payment of the salary increase had not been implemented.

In addition to the strike, all the teachers are to wear black attire on Thursdays pending the time government would make good its endless promises.

Comrade Abiala and the executive of the union after reviewing the possible effect the strike would have on the innocent students, gave a 21-day ultimatum to the state government to pay the salary increase or face total strike.

When Vanguard moved round the schools in Ibadan yesterday, there was total compliance with the directive as students who went to schools were sent back home.

Gates of some schools were shut while some were opened but as students got to the premises, they were told about the strike. Some students who did not go back home were seen loitering the streets.

In a statement which directed the teachers to embark on the strike, the national leadership of the union commended the state governors who had effectively carried out the agreement reached between the union and the Nigeria’s Governor’s Forum in August 2008, but seriously frowned at the governors who have reneged on the said agreement.

As a result of non-compliance with the agreement, the conference had directed teachers in the affected states to resume the suspended strike action without further notice until the package was paid.

While speaking with newsmen, Comrade Abiala explained that in as much as they would not want to toy with the future of our students in the state, the state union had no power to reverse the directive given by the conference which is the highest in the country.

Immediately, the agreement was reached the governor said he would pay as soon as the economy of the state improved. Up till last week, the state government was non-committal or showed convincing response to the demand of the teachers.

The union and the governor have been slugging it out on the election of the leaders of the union which forced the teachers to organise their election in Ekiti where Mr. Toyin Babatunde emerged the chairman of the union.

….As varsity students protest hike in fees

ADO-EKITI—Students drawn from all institutions of higher learning  in  Ekiti State Wednesday took to the streets protesting what they described as an astronomical hike in tuition fees in all the state-owned schools.

The aggrieved students who took their protest to the Governor’s Office, however, gave a 14-day ultimatum to the state government to reverse the increment, failure which they promised to embark on another round of protest.

The State Government had in collaboration with the governing councils of the various institutions announced a hike in the tuition fees of the various institutions under its control.

University of Ado Ekiti (UNAD) increased its fees from N35,000 to N150,000, while the pioneer students of the University of Education, Ikere Ekiti were asked to pay N110,000, as the students of the newly established University of Science and Technology, Ifaki Ekiti are to pay N200,000 each.

Some of the reasons adduced by the students for protesting included the non-compliance of the Federal and State Governments to the 26 percent budgetary allocation to the education sector, as recommended by United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO.

Acting under the auspices of the Joint Campus Committees, JCC, of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS/JCC), led by Adeolu Oyebode they frowned at the victimization and withdrawal of the studentship of a former leader of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Mr Olalekan Soyombo by the University of Ado Ekiti, UNAD.

They argued  that out of a total of N4.2trillion budget passed by  the National Assembly for 2010 only N264billion, constituting 6.4 percent was allocated to the education sector

The students had earlier declared June 16 a lecture boycott in all the state-owned tertiary institutions to complement the protest.

Some of the placards carried by the students read: “Students no longer in support of Segun Oni’s Administration’, ‘Oni is a confused man’, ‘Revert the fees now, our parents are too poor to pay’ ‘Segun Oni has failed Nigerian Students”, ‘Education must be free, it is our rights’,  among others

Amidst heavy presence of Mobile Policemen, comprising men of the Anti–Riot and Special Anti-Robbery Squad the students headed straight to the Governor’s Office but the governor was out of the state during the protest

They demanded to see the Governor personally, and spent about one hour at the  Governor’s Office entrance. The  aggrieved students who resisted the move by the Chief of Staff, who was accompanied by the Head of Service, Mr Femi Adewumi to address them, booed him and made derogatory comments about Oni’s Government

In  his reaction, the Special Adviser on Education to the Governor, Alhaji Yakubu Sanni, said the protest by all indications was a national one, pointing out that the State Government would take necessary actions on the issue of tuition fees.

The Special Adviser noted  that the Government did not unilaterally increase the tuition fees, saying it was a bipartite efforts between the State Government and  the UNAD’s Governing Council.


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