(August 19, 2016) The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) yesterday in Owerri, the Imo State capital, threatened to shut polytechnics and monotechnics nationwide to protest the unpaid 14-month salary of members.
It named the affected states as Abia, Edo, Osun, Ekiti, Oyo, and Benue.
Others are Imo, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Ondo, Kogi, Lagos, Ogun, and Nasarawa.
The union said the planned action would commence after August 21 when the one-month ultimatum given to the government will expire.
ASUP’s Coordinator Zone D, Comrade Chika Ogonwa, who spoke with reporters shortly after its emergency meeting at the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, said the union suspended its nine-month strike in 2014 “on the strength of the appeal by parents and other stakeholders as well as promises by government to resolve its 13-point demand within three months”.
But he noted that “two years have elapsed and yet government has not addressed the union’s demands”.
He added: “Several attempts by the union to engage government officials both under the past and present administrations to address the demands have met with lethargic response from them.
Ogonwa listed some of the union’s grievances as non-implementation of the needs assessment report of 2014; conduct of needs assessment survey for public polytechnics and monotechnics; and review of the Polytechnics Act, as well as interference in union activities by the management of Federal Polytechnic, Oko, and four others.
“Our officials are being suspended, sacked, and bounded by these campus dictators and this is the prevailing situation in Oko and Mubi, Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku, Adamawa State Polytechnic, and Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua”, he stated.
The Public Relations Officer of Oko Polytechnic, Mr. Obini Onuchukwu, described the allegation as misleading.
He said ASUP in Oko was factionalised.
Onuchukwu, who described the Rector of the Polytechnic, Prof. Godwin Onu, as ‘union friendly’, said: “He would not have withheld the check off dues meant for ASUP, if the union was not in dispute.”