By Ugochukwu Alaribe
ABA—THE Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, Abia State Polytechnic chapter, has embarked on an industrial action over the non-payment of 11 months salary arrears and 14 months check-off dues owed the union.
The lecturers in a protest yesterday, bore placards which read; ’11 months salary unpaid, we are not slaves;’ ‘Eboh is working against Gov. Ikpeazu;’ ‘Rector Eboh must Go;’ ‘ Mr. Rector, pay our 11 months arrears and 14 months check off dues;’ ‘Gov. Ikpeazu, give us a new management team at Abia Poly;’ ‘As long as Eboh is here, there will be no lecture until the 11 months salary arrears are paid;’ among others. They barricaded the gates of the institution along Aba- Owerri road before a detachment of soldiers forced them to shift from the road.
It was a theatre of confusion as the lecture halls were shut while students gathered in groups discussing the situation.
In an interview with Vanguard, vice chairman, ASUP, Abia Poly chapter, Comrade Emelike Ndubueze Ogbonnaya, stated that the lecturers have vowed not to resume work until their 11 months arrears of salaries and 14 months check-off dues are paid and accused the Acting Rector, Prof. Ezionye Eboh of being insensitive to the problem of salary arrears owed workers.
He said: “The Acting Rector is the problem of Abia Poly. He must be sacked because he has mismanaged the institution. There will be no negotiation. As long as Eboh is here, there will be no lectures. We will not resume work until the 11 months arrears and 14 months check off dues are paid.
“He has collected school fees from 15, 000 students and the State government has paid subvention up to February but the Rector does not want to pay us arrears of our salaries. The strike is indefinite; there will be no lecture in Abia Poly until Eboh is removed. We refuse to be intimidated.”
The lecturers alleged that the Acting Rector has sacked over 89 staff of the institution on flimsy excuses and removed their names from the institution’s payroll and urged the state government to constitute another management team for the polytechnic.
Efforts to contact the Acting Rector of the Polytechnic, Prof. Ezionye Eboh, were unsuccessful as he was said to be in a management meeting when Vanguard called at his office.