By Mutiat Olushola and Daniel Ayantoye
After many years of shunning nationwide strike, the University of Ilorin Senior Staff Association Of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has cited implementation of the judgement of National Industrial Court on the reinstatement of the sacked Unilorin primary school teachers.
The body also cited the taking over of the headship of non-academic units by academic staff as part of its reasons for joining the ongoing strike.
Recall that about 77 teachers of Unilorin primary school were sacked, an action which cut across all federal universities’ staff schools of the nation, two years ago.
Speaking with National Pilot, yesterday, the Public Relations Officer of Unilorin chapter of SSANU, Comrade Oluwasegun Timothy Alabi, pointed out that the ongoing strike is not targeted at the management of the institution but the FG.
Alabi, who is currently a producer and presenter with the Unilorin community radio, 89.5 FM, stated that the strike is a comprehensive, total and indefinite one until the FG meets the demands of the unions.
“It is high time we took the bull by the horn, we can’t continue to fold our arms. Things have to change. We love our jobs and we want to be back at work in earnest but the Federal Government determines how soon,” the SSANU PRO said.
The association also requests the Federal Government to look into issues bothering on non-payment of allowances of staff members, poor funding and inadequate infrastructure in universities.
Meanwhile, contrary to reports that Unilorin chapter of NAAT backed out of the strike at the eleventh hour as it seemed the demands of the federal universities when granted and implemented may affect members of the union, the Chairman of the association, Comrade Femi Awolola said the decision was unanimous.
According to him, members of the union had at a congress held recently based on a referendum from the federal level, collectively agreed not to partake in the strike, hence the dissociation of the Unilorin chapter from the industrial action.
Awolola, who spoke to our reporter on telephone, yesterday, said no member of NAAT voted in support of the strike at the congress held by the union two weeks ago.
When our reporter visited the University of Ilorin yesterday, members of SSANU and NASAU where noticed blocking the institution’s gate, denying staffers of the institution entry though post-UTME students were allowed entrance for their screening.
In a related development, confusion has continued to trail the position of the Unilorin chapter of NASU on the ongoing nationwide strike as the state chapter kept sealed lips on the issue.
While speaking with our reporter yesterday in a telephone chat, the chairman, of NASU, Unilorin chapter, Comrade Zubair Haruna Ibrahim said, “Sorry, I don’t want to make any single comment about it.”
Meanwhile the institution’s management insisted academic activities remain uninterrupted denying any knowledge of the strike.
The Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr Kunle Akogun said, “I don’t know anything about any strike, our students are on vacation and our major activities which is the Post-UTME is going on smoothly.”
In a related development, the FG has called for a meeting with the striking unions today in Abuja following the arrival of national officers, yesterday.