By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti.
Palpable tension engulfed the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti,(FUOYE), the headquarters of Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti State on Monday as non-academic staff of the institution embarked on protest against the management of the varsity over unpaid salaries and entitlements.
However, this development put on hold the orientation programme that ought to have been organized for the new students of the university, as their parents, who brought them in their vehicles were disappointed when they met the main gate under lock and keyed.
The protest, led by the leadership of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian University(SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) started at about 7am at the main gate of the university,as the angry staff closed down the school and disallowed their colleagues ,both
academic and non-academic from entering.
The protest later moved to the heart of town, where the placard-carrying staff had reeled out songs to deride the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kayode Soremekun and threatening to make the university ungovernable if their demands were not met.
Academic staff who forced their way into the institution were harassed by the rampaging workers, branding them as betrayers partners in struggle.
Some of their allegations included; non-promotion of staff as and when due, improper placement of staff in their areas of
specialization, illegal ICT deduction, perpetration of illegal employment, non-remittance of unions’ check off dues, withholding of Hazard Allowance, Arbitrary award of contracts, Victimization of Staff,among others.
The Chairmen of SSANU and NASU respectively, Comrades Ademola Mutiu and Adebayo Dada, accused the VC and management team of taking a sum of N2 million to celebrate the Christmas and new year festivities, when two months salaries were being owed ,describing this as the highest point of insensitivity.
Mutiu said:“It was bad that an institution that claims not to have money had to secretly employed about 500 workers and used the lean internally revenue to pay them. We held two meetings with the management in November that IGR should be used to pay some of our allowances, but this illegal employment didn’t allow this agreement to work.
“Before the end of last year, two months salaries were owed and in spite of this, the members of the management took N2 million each for the festivities. This was the highest point of wickedness and insensitivity”, he said.
His counterpart in NASU, Com. Dada added that the university charged a tuition fee of N132,000 making it the most expensive university in Nigeria, querying why the institution was still ranting over paucity of funds while also receiving this outrageous amount.
“Today, FUOYE is charging a sum of N50,000 per bed space in its hostels and there are about six students in a room. I see no reason why this institution always complain about lack of fund to pay our allowances.
“All these must stop. And we are warning that we are not going to resume work until all our entitlements and other demands are met”, he said.
Efforts to contact the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Kayode Soremekun failed as he could not be reached for comments.
By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti.