SSANU, NASU Members Protest Suspension Of Strike, Fur Leaders

Members of the Joint Action Committee of Non-Academic Staff Union and Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, University of Lagos, branch, chased and threw sachets of pure water at their leaders who addressed them during a protest on Wednesday.

The PUNCH had reported that the SSANU/NASU JAC leadership, in a statement on Saturday, had asked all its members across the country to resume Wednesday.

However, members of the UNILAG branch protested the suspension of the strike.

The NASU and SSANU JAC began national union action on March 27, 2022 and ended on August 20, 2022.

Some JAC members of SSANU and NASU, who spoke to our correspondents, said a congress would be held before the strike was halted.

The aggrieved UNILAG members held several placards that read: ‘We do not trust the national leaders of NASU/SSANU’, ‘We are fed up with Secretary General Adeyemi Peters and Mohammed Ibrahim of SSANU, they must go!’, We are civil servants, not slaves” and say “NASU SSANU, no salary, no resumption” among others.

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The crisis escalated when some protesters chased their leaders away and tried to beat them up.

A former chairman of SSNAU, UNILAG, Mr. Oriwaye Adefolalu, said JAC of SSANU and NASU had been misled by calling off the strike.

He said: “The way they did it was wrong. You made a decision without going back to the branches. If the government cheats on us, if the university management cheats on us, the union we sweat with us may finance don’t cheat us.

“That’s why you see that people are very angry with them. SSANU’s incumbent leadership is not truthful. At first I thought they didn’t know what they were doing, but they do. All they care about is their personal gain.

“We are now telling them to go back and reverse their decision. I am 100% convinced that the suspension of the strike was staged by Education Minister Adamu Adamu to save his job.”

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A former chairman of the UNILAG NASU branch, Ganiyu Adeshina, said: “The fact is that our union leaders at the national level let us down because we didn’t come back before signing the MoU. The past salary must be paid because we have not broken any law.

“The law says you have to strike for three months before your salary can be stopped. We have not even spent two months before they cut our salary and no union leader will sign that the salaries of his members are not allowed to be paid.”

However, the national president of SSANU, Muhammed Ibrahim, expressed disappointment at the protesting union members and said three department members from each of the unions attended the council meeting where the decision to call off the strike was made.

He said: “We have a leadership in UNILAG and we are not aware that the leadership is protesting, they are dissidents who called themselves members in UNILAG, they are newbies or they do not know what the union stands for or what the constitution of says the union.

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“SSANU’s constitution clearly states that only members of the executive committee can suspend a strike. The National Executive Committee has three members per branch, meaning UNILAG had three members at the meeting and we were not aware of anyone who disagreed with the decision. The constitution clearly states how grievances should be addressed; they can write the union through the leadership of branches through the zone and then to the national body.

“There is no place in the constitution that gives people the right to start throwing stones, start with clean water and fight themselves because they are not happy with the union’s decision.”

He added that the constitution claimed that only the national executive body had the power to call off a strike, and said the constitution did not allow them to ask the opinions of the departments before making decisions.

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