Nigeria: SSANU Launches 7-Day Warning Strike, Blockades UNIABUJA Gate

Nigeria: SSANU Launches 7-Day Warning Strike, Blockades UNIABUJA Gate

By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria

The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has initiated a seven-day warning strike in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), making a bold statement by blocking the entrance to the University of Abuja on Monday. This move comes as part of a broader directive issued by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and SSANU.

The decision to embark on the strike follows a series of grievances stemming from the government’s handling of salary payments and other longstanding issues affecting university workers. Despite previous appeals and ultimatums, the government’s failure to address these concerns has prompted SSANU and NASU to take decisive action.

Notably, President Bola Tinubu’s directive to pay four months’ worth of withheld salaries to university workers affected by prolonged strikes in 2022 has yet to be fully implemented for non-teaching staff, including members of SSANU and NASU. This disparity in treatment has only served to exacerbate tensions and fuel discontent among university workers.

The announcement of the warning strike underscores the frustration felt by SSANU and NASU members over the government’s perceived indifference to their plight. Despite repeated attempts to engage with relevant authorities, including issuing ultimatums and appeals, their grievances remain unaddressed, compelling them to resort to industrial action as a last resort.

In a joint statement, Prince Peters Adeyemi, General Secretary of NASU, and Comrade Mohammed Ibrahim, SSANU President, lamented the government’s inaction in resolving the salary payment issue and other outstanding concerns. The decision to commence the strike reflects the unions’ determination to compel the government to fulfill its obligations and address the longstanding grievances of university workers.

As the strike takes effect, academic activities across universities are expected to be disrupted, with essential services such as water treatment plants and clinics also facing shutdowns. The blockade of the UNIABUJA gate serves as a visible manifestation of SSANU’s resolve to press for meaningful action from the government.

In the absence of meaningful dialogue and concrete steps to address their demands, SSANU and NASU have made it clear that they will not relent in their pursuit of fair treatment and just compensation for university workers. The success of the warning strike hinges on the government’s willingness to engage in genuine negotiations and take proactive measures to address the concerns raised by SSANU and NASU.

As the standoff between university workers and the government intensifies, the broader implications of the strike for the education sector and the welfare of university workers remain a matter of concern. It is imperative that all stakeholders prioritize dialogue and constructive engagement to reach a mutually acceptable resolution that upholds the rights and interests of university workers while safeguarding the integrity of the education system.

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