The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) has condemned the closure of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife in Osun State under the guise of “mid-semester break” and has called on the university’s administration, led by Professor Bamitale, “to immediately meet the demands of members of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) who are on strike to demand the payment of 64 month arrears of hazard allowance as well as improved condition of service.”
SaharaReporters learned that the university management issued a circular on directing all NASU members to resume work on this past Tuesday, July 21, or face disciplinary actions.
In a statement issued by the ERC, National Coordinator Hassan Taiwo Soweto decried the “mid-semester break” as “an anomaly introduced into the University system by despotic Vice Chancellors who have thrown their Universities into avoidable turmoil over their gross irresponsibility, executive recklessness and failure to meet legitimate demands of their unions.
“Workers have legitimate rights to defend their rights to their pay and decent working condition using the instrumentality of peaceful protests and withdrawal of their service (strike action),” Mr. Soweto continued. “These rights are not only guaranteed by the constitution of the country, they are inalienable rights that must be recognized by all, not least administrators of Universities.”
On the victimization of NASU members, the ERC warned, “If any step is taken to sack or victimize in any way members of NASU and their leaders for undertaking the ongoing strike, Nigerians within the University and outside will respond with solidarity protests and demonstrations until the injustice is reversed.”