Protesting FUNAAB workers chase away VC with charm over poor workers’ welfare

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By; NIYI OGUNGBOLA, Abeokuta.
All activities have been paralyzed at the Federal University of Agriculture (FUNAB) Abeokuta, Ogun State following series of protest embarked upon by aggrieved workers’ over poor working condition which the management has allegedly subjected them to.
The labour unions under the aegis of Joint Action Committee, which include the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) had embarked on protest days weeks ago over issues bordering on welfare, allowances and career advancement, among others.
This, New Nigerian gathered has forced the university’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole to literally flee from the school.
When our Correspondent visited the institution, it was gathered that the VC had literally taken to his heel and his whereabouts still remained unknown since Tuesday when the situation became clear that the aggrieved workers were searching to abduct him.
It was further gathered that the fear of being abducted has also forced the VC to postpone indefinitely, the 53rd inaugural lecture of the varsity earlier scheduled for last Wednesday.
The unions also accused the vice chancellor of allegedly promoting discriminatory policies to the detriment of their members.
As at the time NN visited the university campus Thursday, members of the three workers’ union in the institution: SSANU, NASU and NAAT were holding special congresses near the Senate Building of the university to determine the next line of action.
The nearby office of the Directorate of Public Relations (DPR) was under lock and keyed as none of the officials of the directorate, including the head of DPR, Emi Alawode was available to comment on the three day old crisis.
It was further observed that the workers had disconnected the power supply as well as water services to the institution, locked all their various offices and withdrew all essential services.
‎However, the branch chairman of NASU, Comrade Ishaq Odunjo, and his SSANU counterpart, Comrade Rotimi Fasunwon, who addressed the workers, said they would continue to down tools until the management address their demands.
Odunjo disclosed that a meeting between the management and the leadership of the unions on the contentious issues on Wednesday failed to resolve the crisis.
He‎ lamented the failure of the management to effect the promotion of many of their members due for elevation.
‎”A lot of our members are with additional qualifications, more than what they got employment with, yet before their very eyes people are being employed into the university without consideration for our members,” he said.
Corroborating the position of the branch NASU chairman, Comrade Odunjo, his SSANU counterpart, Comrade Fasunwon ‎declared that the workers would continue to stay away from work until the resolution of the matter.
“We have made a commitment to serve our members. We will not deceive you. If it will take us a week, a month, a year, the struggle will continue,” he added.

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