From Olanrewaju Oyedeji, Ile-Ife
Obafemi Awolowo University is set to be shut down soon as non-academic staff union of universities OAU branch protest the non-payment of their 65 months allowances.
In an exclusive interview with The Difference, the Chairman of the Non-Academic Staff Union, NASU, Osun State Chapter revealed that since 2009 when the government signed an agreement with all universities and paid all workers, the OAU management has refused to pay them. Rather, they have been playing games with them.
Exasperated, NASU of recent took the OAU management to court and the industrial court in her rulings ordered that the management pay NASU by June 30. However, the management has not only failed to meet up with the date, according to NASU, even when the union subsequently wrote a letter to the management extending the deadline to July 2, the management equally refused to pay or heed their pleas.
In a follow-up congressional resolution, NASU decided to shut down all internal operations of OAU. To this effect, they locked down the campus gates and shut light and water supplies. It took pleas from the OAU Students Union to get NASU restore light and water for some few days.
However, with no fresh responses from management, the Non-Academic staff union has decided to once more shut down light and water supplies by July 12.
On its part, the Students’ Union of OAU has said that they will on their own be locking down the campus should NASU go on with its planned action which would lead to the cutting off of critical services like light and water. According to the SU President, Comrade Omotayo Akande, students cannot be allowed to suffer in the course of this face-off. ‘If there isn’t light and water, what are we doing on campus?’ As things are turning out now, OAU which is traditionally known for strikes and strikes may just be living up to this image and except something drastic happens soon, the University may very well be set for a lockdown by July 13.