By Daniel Ayantoye
After several futile efforts, members of College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Ilorin, may have resorted to spiritual help in order to ensure their outstanding salaries are paid by the Kwara State Government.
COEASU and other members of staff of the College of Education, Ilorin embarked on indefinite strike penultimate week over salary backlogs and other conditions of service.
Speaking with our reporter in a telephone chat at the weekend, the Chairman Ilorin COEASU, Comrade Saba Mamman Daniel said the state government is yet to officially address the issue hence the decision of members to seek spiritual help at churches, mosques and other places.
“We are still awaiting as the issue is yet to be addressed. We have turned spiritual now as we have declared fasting and prayers. Our people are now praying in churches and mosques and others are visiting herbalists on the issue.”
Speaking further, the COEASU boss said his colleagues are suffering untold hardship due to lack of financial security.
He said though employees of the college are not happy with the strike due to its adverse effect on the students, but they embarked on the industrial action to save their members from financial hardship.
“Many of us can no longer cater for our families, people can’t send their children to good schools. Some of us do trek to school. People are dying economically, psychologically and even physically.
“You see, non-payment of salary is a silent killer of life and future.
“We are pleading to the government, we don’t like to stay outside, we want to work and government should encourage us to work.
“We voted for this government and they should in turn give to us the dividends of democracy. We don’t like the strike because it is affecting our students and ourselves. We commenced the strike because we don’t have any other option having suffered for long,” he lamented.
When asked when the union may likely call off the strike, he said that the decision to commence and call it off is not a solitary decision but that of the entire members.
“As of today, the strike is still on; if the strike would be called off, that depends on the members.”
Meanwhile, the Kwara State Government has reiterated its commitment towards the welfare of employees of tertiary institutions in the state.
Speaking with this medium last night, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications to Governor, Dr Muideen Akorede assured that the subvention of the college for the last quarter will soon be paid.
“The issue is not about prayers, the Executive Governor of the state, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has pledged to pay subvention for the last quarter to state-owned tertiary institutions.”