By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Striking workers in all the six Oyo State Government owned tertiary institutions at the weekend vowed not to call off their prolonged strike until the state government pays their nine to 16 months salaries.
The striking workers renewed their insistence at the end of an inter denominational prayers organized by the Non-Academic Staff Union, (NASU), The Polytechnic Ibadan chapter to seek divine inrerve tiib to their plight.
During the prayers, the striking workers asked God to answer their prayers and torch the state governor’s heart to order payment of their salary arrears and other entitlements.
Speaking for the entire striking workers, the Institution’s NASU Chairman, Comrade Ibrahim Adekunle Akande and Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnic, The Polytechnic Ibadan Chapter, Comrade Gbenga Akinola emphasized that all the “Unions in the six institutions would not suspend the strike action except government pay all the outstanding salary arrears ranging between 9 to 16 months and restore 100% salary payment
“There is nothing we can do than to appeal to God and all Nigerians, to please help us beg the governor. If we offended him, he should please pardon us. And if it were to be all the tertiary institutions heads he fell offended, he should deal with them according to whatever they might have done wrong. Because we cannot be suffering and keep silence. We are not in favour of heads of institutions, because they are not given us anything.” Comeade Akinola said.
He added, “if truly we are suffering from their misdeeds, the governor should let us know so that we will know the way forward.
According to him,the inter-faith prayer became necessary for God to torch hearts of those in power to do the needful and protection of members of staff in the institution, The Polytechnic Ibadan as the Oyo state government has failed to show sign of concern since the strike action started, hence they will continue to remain resolute until positive actions are taken by the government.
“The government did not show sign of concern and the union would not suspend the strike action except government pay all the outstanding salary arrears ranges between 9 to 16 months and restore 100% salary payment. “
Faulting the alleged insinuation that the striking workers are eeady to go back to work without the payment of the owed salaries, he urged menvers of the striking unions to disregard the information as it does not emanated from the Joint Action Committee of six tertiary institutions in Oyo state, saying, “the source is from those traders who called themselves unionists that collected money from management and government appointee to scuttle the struggle.
“The unions would not suspend the strike action until the government do the needful, payment of all the outstanding salary arrears and restoration of 100% salary. Those who are behind this will never have peace of mind. Up till now we have not seen any seriousness from the government side, because we have been to Oyo State government severally, sometimes ago we submitted a paper and we recommended that they should be taking the tuition fees of the students if they felt that all the tertiary institutions can urgument the rest 75 percent, that they should be taking all, so that they will be paying us full salary.
“We have submitted the paper to Oyo State House of Assembly, they have been trying as much as possible to see the governor to discuss this matter but up till now we have not been able to see tangible thing from the government side. Well the Bible says, that the 12 disciples, there must be Judas there are Judas among the striking workers who happened to be close ally of the management and the government, they are behind the satanic rumour. Because, we see no reason why all of us will be suffering like this and some will gather themselves that they should go and truncate this striggle. They wanted to truncate this striggle because of their slefish interest. They have been attempting to truncate the striggle atleast almost three weeks now, but we are able to tame them.
He maintained that ” as at now, Oyo State government, spent hugh amount of money to employ an international audit firm, KPMG. They have been to all the institutions and up till now, they have subltted the report, but the government refused to implement it. And we have had it that it is the report that the Oyo State House of Assembly wanted to base its decision on. But, they should make it snappy . But the main thing, because our people are suiffering, almost two weeks ago, we lost a staff, in the cause of buring the person, another person slumped, it took the intervention of people around to revive the man. People are dying, people are suffering and the government is feeling comfortable, that is highly insensitivity to the plight of the workers.”
The six institutions are those of The Polytechnic, Ibadan; Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo; Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology; The Ibarapa Polytechnic, Eruwa; The Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki and College of Education, Lanlate, on Friday November 3rd, 2017, declared a full blown strike action over non payment of their salaries and other entitlements.