Following the immense contributions of the Delta State Governor, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, to the advancement of education in the state, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, National Association Academic Technologists, NAAT and Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities, NASU, Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka chapters, have thrown their weight behind the second term bid of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
The unions, which is under the aegis of Joint Action Committee, JAC, stated this in Abraka during its congress following the suspension of the three months and 10 days nationwide strike embarked upon by the national body of JAC in December, 2017
It would be recalled that, the three unions under JAC, had embarked on a nationwide wide strike on December 4, 2017, in view of the alleged insensitivity of the Federal Government to the plights of the Union.
The strike, was however, suspend penultimate Thursday after the federal government agreed to disburse the sum of N8, 000, 000, 000, within the next five weeks to service the debt of their earned allowances; the federal government’s implementation of the judgement of the Industrial Court which upheld that the Primary Schools and staff in public universities belongs to the Federal and State Universities and should be paid by the federal government and visitation panels be set up to visit public universities because of the alleged corruption in the institutions.
Speaking on behalf of JAC, the SSANU-DELSU Chairman, Comrade Monday Izu, said that following its earlier demand to the state government before the strike commenced, the governor approved that the Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, Demonstration School and staff be retained by the university as staff.
While explaining the rationale behind the governor’s second term endorsement by the unions, Izu stated : ” This is what we have been asking from previous government of the state but to no avail until Governor Okowa came to save us.
” As far as we (unions) are concerned in the Delta State University, Abraka, we have agreed, proclaimed and it is our belief that Okowa will emerge for a second term come, 2019. It is only natural that when a person does something remarkable for you, it is natural to reciprocate the gesture, in fact; as you know ‘one good turn deserves another’.
” Okowa is a governor you talk to and he responds to you; you write to him and he will reply your letter immediately. What else do you want from such person? We are ready to support his second term bid to come to fruition,” he explained.
He described Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as a ” governor with human face”, adding that ” How can a governor be responsive to his staff than what he has done for us? We have begged previous administrations for this, but to no avail until Okowa came to wipe the tears from our eyes and we remain forever grateful to him.”
The SSANU chairman disclosed that in addition to returning all the teachers’ to secondary schools to retain their positions as staff of the university, the governor has also approved that ” Our promotion arrears for 2014 and 2015 will be paid by the state government in six installments.”
Izu appealed to the state governor to expedite actions towards the payment of the arrears with a view to ensuring that the actual payment commenced, even as he begged that the 2016 arrears which he (Okowa) had directed the university to pay should be rescinded as they (unions) have only one father which is he (Governor Okowa).
The chairman claimed that its appeal was borne out of the union’s belief that the university would not be able to meet up with this responsibility and in order to avoid delay as well as the union and the university engaging in a collision course in the nearest future, the appeal became imperative.
Izu said, inter-alia : ” We know and are convinced that the university will not be able to pay the 2016 arrears and that will lead to another crisis in the near future, so; we beg the governor to take this responsibility.”