Members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institution (NASU), of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), on Tuesday, staged a peaceful protest to draw the attention of the federal government towards tbe payment of their four months withheld salaries, non-payment of earned allowance among other demands.
They protesters expressed displeasure over the divide and rule tactics of the federal government among unions in the university system.
They carried placards with inscriptions such as,”Let the federal university breathe”, “We are workers and not slaves, union is our rights”, “Tinubu pay our 4 months salary”, “Save the workers from poverty and hunger”, “Monkey dey work, baboon dey chop”, “FG don’t suffocate us”, and “FG pay us our Earned Allowance” among others.
The protest was led by the SSANU Chairman, Comrade Rotimi Fasunwon and his NASU counterpart, Comrade Samson Edivri, from the Secretariat of the unions to the Senate building on the campus.
Fasunwon said the nationwide protest was to sensitise all stakeholders in the education sector of imminent strike, if those concerned failed to yield to their demands.
The SSANU Chairman said members of the union have been subjected to untold hardship by the federal government with the non payment of the withheld salaries.
He explained that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, last February, promised his administration commitment towards meeting demands of SSANU.
Fasunwon accused the Federal Government of employing divide-and-rule tactics by paying the same withheld salaries of the academic staff in February 2024.
The union leader further knocked the FG over its failure to implement the payment of earned allowances and 23.5% salary increment for non academic staff as embedded in the 2009 agreement under the Memoranda of Action.
He added that a mega rally which will terminate at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, will be staged in Abuja by the joint action committee of both Unions on July 18, 2024.
 Ediviri, described as “unjust and biased”, the decision by the FG to pay the arrears of four months salaries to the academic staff and leave non academic staff in quandary.
“We are using this protest to call on the Nigeria University Commission (NUC), the  Minister of Education and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to ensure that all our agreements are honoured and our four months salary arrears should be paid.
“Non academic workers are key to the running of universities and we don’t deserve this treatment. We recently lost a member at FUNAAB and many of us are just managing to survive.
“The struggle is for the benefit of all workers of the varsity and this protest as directed by the national bodies of SSANU and NASU, is to demand for the payment of our four months withheld salaries, earned allowances and 23.5% salary increment for non academic staff of universities”, Ediviri stated.
Addressing the protesters, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Olusola Kehinde, commended the leadership of the unions for organizing a peaceful protest to drive home their demands.
While saying that the university aligned with the legitimate struggle of the non academic workers, the Vice Chancellor assured them their  entitlements will never be delayed by the university management, submitting “your welfare will continue to be paramount to us”.

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