Police Takes Over Ekiti Federal Varsity As Protest Turns Violent
The Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Prof. Kayode Soremekun, has said that the unruly behavior of the protesting workers of the institution was could be responsible for the heavy deployment of policemen on the campus since Tuesday .
He said the rampaging staff in the course of the protest they begun last Monday had paralyzed all activities on the campus and inflicted bodily injuries on some academic staff for not joining the strike in solidarity, which forced the Police Commissioner, Mr Wilson Inalegwu to order security beef up to ensure protection of lives and property.
Workers under the aegis of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-academic Staff Union (NASU), had on Monday mobilized their members for a protest to demand immediate payment of their November and December salaries, among other unresolved issues.
The unions accused the university management-led by Soremekun of not effecting promotion the workers are due for, engaging in arbitrary contracts’ award, non-payment of hazard allowance, among other issues bordering on workers’ welfare.
The vice chancellor who spoke in Ado Ekiti on Friday on the crisis rocking the university, Soremekun, disclosed that all the outstanding salaries have been paid, describing the inability of the workers to resume to work as gross abuse of unionism.
According to him,“The police took over the gate and other strategic portion of the school because of the behaviour of some protesting workers. Why should I deploy police to gag union leaders or arrest them?
“I have my background in human rights activism. I believe in legitimate protest but not the one that would cause a breach of others’ rights. The police learnt the Chairman of ASUU was beaten by the protesting workers and the man escaped the scene and lodged a complaint with the police, which prompted security beef up to prevent loss of lives”, he said.
While appealing to the restive workers to allow peace to reign, Soremekun pointed out that all the issues surrounding the non- remittance of
cooperatives deductions, which the unions alleged had accumulated up to a sum of N19m since December 2015, had been settled.
“They have all been paid. We are not owing any unit from 2015 to date except the PAYE of Ekiti state for two months”, he clarified.
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