By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
The Joint Action Committee, JAC, of non teaching staff of the universities has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris and the Director General of the Department of State Services, Lawan Daura over the alleged use of some operatives from the DSS, and the Police by some Vice Chancellors to harass the striking union members.
The JAC, which comprised of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, the Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, in the separate petitions claimed that the strike embarked upon by its members since December last year was legitimate.
The petitions entitled, “The use of some DSS and Police officers to harass our members on legitimate strike”, were signed by the Chairman of JAC, and National President of SSANU, Comrade Samson Chijioke Ugwoke, Comrade Chris Ani, National President of NASU and Comrade Sani Suleiman, President of NAAT.
The petition read in part, “We write to officially and formally lodge a complaint about the current use of your men by some Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities to harass our members who are on a legitimate National strike.
“It must be reiterated that this strike action is as a result of government failure to implement the 2009 Agreement as well as the Memorandum of Terms of Agreements entered into with the Unions in January 2017, and September 2017, respectively.
“It is absurd to note that your men now allowed themselves to be used to harass our members in some campuses and this is highly unacceptable to us.
“We hereby urge you to use your good offices to prevail on your men to desist from this ugly trend in the interest of industrial peace in the system. ”
Meanwhile, JAC, has written to the Body of Vice Chancellors to complain of the alleged harassment of some of their members by some of the Vice Chancellors.
It stated in the letter that, “It has come to the attention of the National leadership of the JAC of NAAT, NASU & SSANU that some Vice Chancellors are using different tactics to undermine the legitimate strike action embarked upon by the Non Teaching Staff Unions of Nigerian Universities, including the use of Police and Department of State Security to harass the leadership of the Unions at the branch levels.
“JAC seriously frowns at this dangerous dimension being introduced by the Vice Chancellors as this is not the first time Unions are embarking on strike action, which is In line with relevant extant labour laws
“We urge you to please desist from this act, failing which JAC would not hesitate to use all legitimate means at its disposal to protect her members.
“We hope that this timely advice would be heeded to In the Interest of continuous harmonious coexistence.”