A strike by the Joint Action Committee, at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has degenerated to a ‘total and comprehensive’ action, causing the blockade of the main roads and disruption of water and electricity supplies to the campus.
The JAC, consisting of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU; Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities, NASU; and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, had started their strike at the beginning of December last year after they disagreed with authorities over the sharing of the earned allowances between them and their teaching staff counterparts.
But with the commencement of the examinations in January, the action was reviewed to allow the school provide a limited level of service to the students studying.
With the examinations over last Saturday, the striking group said they are bringing the school to a halt.
“We held congress last week Friday and it was at the congress that we reached a resolution that we must shut the university this week,” said a staffer, Oyeleke Adelegan.
Mr. Oyelegan said: “The university management was given two weeks to conduct exams for students and they even went ahead to breach the agreement for making the exam last for three weeks and now that the students are done with the exam. We have to go back to our total and comprehensive strike,” he said.
The chairman of the NASU, OAU, Wole Odewunmi said the striking unions had earlier cooperated with the university basically, ”because of the students.”
“We agreed to reduce the ‘force’ of the strike because of the students’ examinations because we are also parents and we know that they are lagging behind. Now that they are done with their exams, we are going back to the total and comprehensive shut-down of the university.
“As you can see, the roads have been blocked and we can no longer guarantee electricity, water and others.”
Our correspondent saw how the roads on the campus, including the main Adesoji Aderemi Road, also known as ‘Road 1’, were blocked on Monday and Tuesday.