SSANU, NASU strike plunges UI into darkness

IBADAN- The University of Ibadan (UI) has been plunged into total darkness following the non-teaching staff unions’ strike, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The strike was embarked upon on Monday by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) as directed by their national bodies.

Speaking with NAN on Tuesday on the effects of the strike, the Chairman, SSANU, UI, Mr Rasak Omisore, said the union was forced to down tools to press home their demands.

He said their agitations included unpaid four months’ salaries and funding of the universities, both at the federal and state levels.

Omisore added that there would be no meaningful development in Nigeria if the funding of education took the back seat.

“We are also talking about the constitution of governing councils for all the universities where their councils have been dissolved, as the importance of councils in universities cannot be underestimated.

“We are expecting the Federal Government to invite the national council of our union to address the issues of our demands,” Omisore said.

He said almost all the offices in the university were locked with members of staff in the administrative offices not on duty.

“Yes, you see students on campus, and they are receiving their lectures because ASUU is not on strike, but the works and maintenance department is a very vital part of the university as there has neither been light nor water due to the strike.

“Establishment offices are not working and Jaja is on skeletal duty,” the chairman said.

Meanwhile, the leadership of UI Students’ Union, led by its President, Tobiloba Samuel, says it has met with SSANU to plead for the restoration of power in the hostels.

Samuel, in an interview with NAN, called on the government to accede to the demands of the unions as students bear the brunt of the faceoff.

“We have to come to the understanding that every member of the university community is very important and if the teaching staff, the non-teaching staff, and the students are not at the optimum level, we cannot have the effective academic environment that we need.

“For the last 24 hours, students have been in great distress. We have not had light in 24 hours; meaning there is no water; amenities are not working, and some lecture halls are not open.

“We are calling on them to do the needful to ensure that peace returns to our various campuses and not just the University of Ibadan,” Samuel said.

He says the students stand in solidarity with the unions because the fight for a better education system is everybody’s business.

Some of the students told NAN that they were receiving lectures and writing tests with lecturers making use of alternative classes like the postgraduate classrooms.

NAN, however, reports that the leadership and members of the unions enforced the strike at the UI maintenance department, the staff school, and the postgraduate school.

Also, some gates serving as shorter routes, especially for the hostels, were closed, thus making the students to travel longer distances.

The use of lecture halls, toilets, and other faculty facilities was also affected by the strike. (NAN)

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