Members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU and those of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, are to embark on a seven-day warning strike on March 18, 2024.

The seven-day warning strike is expected to commence immediately after the Joint Action Committee, JAC comprising SSANU and NASU, ratify the date this week over the federal government inability to pay members the four months withheld salaries.

At its 47th NEC at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA, Ondo State, members of SSANU voted unanimously for a seven-day strike which would be followed immediately with an indefinite strike if the government remains adamant.

Speaking after the decision was taken, the SSANU President, Comrade Mohammed Ibrahim said, “What played out at today’s meeting clearly is that members have unanimously resolved that they will not accept this injustice meted on us, because there is no explanation that can scientifically or naturally be given to anyone as to why one group of our staff is paid and then the other three groups are left.

“Therefore, we have given the next one week where members will go back to their branches and sensitize our members. This time around, it is going to be a total strike. For seven days, there will be no water, no electricity, no medicals, no office work. Everybody will leave his office work until when those seven days reach.

“However, we are hopeful, we are prayerful that government listens and then does the needful because we also know that we have a responsibility for the society, for the university and for our students. So, nobody should blame us if this thing happens, because we have given enough notices, we have made enough sensitization and we have contacted enough stakeholders.

“So, it’s going to be total, it is going to be total black out in our campuses all through Nigeria. In those seven days until when that money is paid.”

Asked what would happen if the government remains adamant after the seven days warning strike, the SSANU President said: “Clearly, our organs and based on our constitution, will work with the provisions and that by Monday (today), we said our members should go back advertise for meetings, and then by Tuesday, they are supposed to meet in all the branches and Wednesday, they are supposed to return the feedbacks of the sensitization.

“And then JAC leadership, made up of the national officers of the two unions, NASU and SSANU will meet in Abuja by the weekend to declare the strike which will start on Monday, the 18th of March 2024, which will last seven days.

“If government decides to do the needful and listen carefully then leaders will meet to review the situation that is opposition.”

Reminded that the JAC had earlier given an ultimatum to the government on the same subject matter, Ibrahim said, “That ultimatum was to sensitize government that if nothing is done, we will take this decision. Now decision has been taken. We are now at the level of implementation. So, that is how we work.

“Our union has organs and we do not just wake up overnight and take decisions. And because we’re also law abiding, we try to exhaust all avenues, where peace and tranquillity can prevail and reasonability too. So, this is what happens. So, there is no longer any other ultimatum, it is just the date for the strike. But things will be done between now and then. And then we will just hit the ground running, that is our position.”

Recall that President Bola Tinubu had directed that workers in the public universities that embarked on a prolonged strike in 2022 but were not paid salaries within the period of the strike by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari should be paid for four months.

While the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation has paid the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, the four months as directed by the President, the three unions of non-teaching staff are yet to be paid.


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