OAU MANAGEMENT DECLARES BREAK AND POSTPONES CONVOCATION AMIDST STRIKE ACTION.
Tuesday, 5th December, 2017.
By Olufemi Alfred .O.
The management of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife, has resolved that an 'end of the year' break be given to the students between 6th of December 2017 and 2nd of January 2018 because of the uproar that is emanating from the protest by the Non-academic staff unions' members of the Nigerian universities. This has also led to the indefinite postponement of the 43rd convocation ceremony of the University.
In the press release by the Public Relations officer of the university, Olanrewaju Abiodun, it was stated that "the Students have been asked to vacate their Halls of residence latest by 4:00pm on Wednesday, 6th December, 2017."
This decision was made in an emergency senate meeting held at Ogunbanjo conference centre of the school. This meeting is linked to the absence of a conducive environment for learning because of the Blockage of main entrances to the school, power outage and the halt on water supply to all halls of residence.
All these are the effects of the indefinite strike action embarked on by Non-academic staff unions of Nigerian Universities ;Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) on Monday, 4th of December as a meeting of the aegis of the unions, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) in Abuja.
Let it be recalled that OAU KILONSHELE reported that the decision to commence the strike action was as a result of the elapsed deadline of Seven days given to the Federal Government to explain what brought about the skewed ratio of sharing the Earned Allowance . In the formula adopted by the federal government, the non academic staffs were allocated 11 per cent of the N23billion as against 89 per cent for academic staff in the universities.
The joint letter signed by three Presidents of the Non-academic staff unions :SSANU, Samson Ugwoke, NAAT, Sani Suleiman and NASU, Chris Ani, urged members to resume the suspended indefinite strike as from 12midnight, Sunday, December 3.
Speaking with SSANU chairman, Comrade Ademola, he opined that the strike has been peaceful so far and he re-affirmed that it's indefinite.
"This is a national fight, which OAU is not left out. It is an intellectual struggle, so we frown at violence." Ademola said.
However, various reactions from students have followed the declaration of the break.
"It's just a disruption of the academic calendar to me. We ought to start exams by January 2018 before. But now, it is no longer feasible." Abayomi, a final year student of Mechanical engineering department, stated.
"We've been burdened too much this semester and I feel this is a time to refresh and cool our brain. Thanks to NASU." Oluwaseun, a part 3 student of Philosophy, commented.