SSANU, NASU strike grounds public universities

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By Gabriel Dike and From Seye Ojo, Ibadan

Administrative activities and essential services in state and federal universities were on Monday grounded following the strike by the two non-teaching staff unions.

The various campuses of public universities looked like ghost towns as non-academic staff deserted their offices in compliance with the directive to commence a strike on Monday to press for the implementation of their demands by the Federal Government.

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The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) on March 25th directed its members nationwide to embark on strike.

The branch chairman of NASU, University of Lagos, Mr Kehinde Ajibade, told Daily Sun that the campus is dry because members complied with the directive to down tools.

‘All the four unions on campus are on strike. Our members have withdrawn their services. There is no water, electricity and other essential services provided by our members,’ he stated.

Chairman of SSANU University of Ibadan chapter Mr Abiodun Omisore said the union recorded 90 per cent compliance on the first day of the nationwide strike declared by the national body.

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A visit to the campus of the institution revealed that the entrance and exit gates of the university were wide open for the free flow of traffic. But there were many buses and cabs, as well as tricycles at the motor park waiting for passengers while many offices were also locked.

In an interview with Daily Sun, Omisore said the union has set up a monitoring committee, in conjunction with other non-teaching staff unions, which will enforce total compliance.

Omisore explained that the current strike embarked on by SSANU and other non-teaching staff unions is different from the one Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

According to him, ‘the level of compliance is very commendable. There was a 85 to 90 per cent level of compliance today (Monday). Our people are better educated. They have seen that the government is not to be trusted. The level of compliance will be higher from tomorrow (today) when the monitoring committee that we set up will begin their work.

‘The advice I would give to the Federal Government is, when agreements are signed, they should just be ready to implement them. The agreements are binding on the two parties. Therefore, you cannot say you want to back off when an agreement has been reached.’