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Ekiti varsity shuts down premises over persistent staff protests

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Ekiti State University (EKSU) management in Ado Ekiti has shut down the institution indefinitely, following continued demonstrations by unions over the alleged poor staff welfare policy of the institution’s management.

EKSU, who had directed students to vacate the campus, stated that the move was taken after to save guard lives and property within the institution after it realised that the unions were not ready to back down on their agitation in spite of several appeals.

The shutdown was announced on Saturday in a statement by Head, Directorate of Information and Corporate Affairs for the university, Bode Olofinmuagun, also disclosed that the management has proscribed all labour unions within the institution.

“The Governing Council of Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti announces the immediate closure of the University. All academic activities are hereby suspended. This is as a result of the continuous disruption of lawful activities on campus which have endangered lives and property in the past one week.

“Consequently, to guarantee peace and orderliness on campus, all the four unions, namely The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and others are hereby proscribed with immediate effect. And all students are advised to vacate the campus forthwith,” he added.

Before the new development, the EKSU management had alleged that the workers’ demands were made during the lifetime of the immediate past administration under ex-governor, Ayo Fayose.

The authorities, however, said that some of the demands had been addressed while others were in the process of being tackled, saying, it is not true that the university had reneged on the Memorandum of Agreement signed with the various unions last year.

It would be recalled that the crisis between the university authorities and workers started after workers laid siege at the school entrance which they claimed was part of a strategy to press home their demands over alleged unpaid salaries and allowances, among other things.

As gathered, the workers’ action paralysed both academic and non-academic activities on the campus as both workers and students were denied access to the campus.

The Secretary of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), EKSU branch, Azeez Aguda, said members’ action would continue until the government prevailed on the university authorities to accede to their demands.

He listed the demands to include payment of July, August, and September salaries (2018), remittance of cooperative and pension dues, and reinstatement of sacked workers, among several others.

The unions also accused the university authorities of reneging on the commitments of an MoA they signed with workers’ representatives, an event that was witnessed by members of the state’s House of Assembly in the year 2020.

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