From Scholastica Hir Makurdi

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, (SSANU) and
Non Academic Union, NASU, at Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University Makurdi, (JOSTUM), formerly Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi, (FUAM), have joined the seven days warning strike embarked upon by the national body.

JAC of SSANU and NASU JOSTUM embarked on the strike after it’s emergency congress held on Monday, 18th March, 2024.

Recall that the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of SSANU and NASU gave Federal Government seven days ultimatum to pay her members in the Federal Universities and Inter-university Centres the four months withheld salaries.

A letter is co-signed by the Chairperson, SSANU JOSTUM, Comrade Kpamor Ruth and Chairperson NASU JOSTUM, Comrade Saa Girgi Moses and made available to newsmen in Makurdi on Monday, said JAC waited patiently till the expiration of the ultimatum without positive response to the demands of the unions.

“Consequently, JAC directed her members in the Universities and Inter-University Centres Nationwide to commence a 7- day warning strike effective Monday, 18th March, 2024 in the first instance.”

The letter said JAC of SSANU and NASU, JOSTUM at it’s emergency congress held on Monday, 18th March, 2024, endorsed the directive of the JAC National to proceed on the warning strike.

The union in the letter addressed to the Vice Chancellor of the university tagged “Commencement of A-7 Day JAC Nationwide Warning Strike” therefore craved the indulgence of the University Management to understand with SSANU and NASU JOSTUM Branch as they embark on the warning strike.

The union cited some of the issues driving the strike including the “Renegotiation of 2009 Federal Government/SSANU agreement, reconstitution of governing councils of universities, payment of four months withheld salaries, release of earned allowances and improved funding of our universities.”

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Speaking to Daily Sun on phone, the Secretary of SSANU, Festus Omemu, condemned Government’s inability to implement it’s agreements with the university unions especially as it concerns withheld salaries and funding of the institutions.

Omemu said “The federal government is not funding the Universities. We have to really fund the universities. These are people, in their own time, when they went to the universities, they were treated like special candidates, giving them food and other things free and before they finished, some of them had appointments already waiting for them with cars.

“But as we speak now, students don’t have where to live, the little accommodation they have cannot take one quarter of those in the university.

“The students are just left on their own to be searching for where they can live, inside villages, anywhere they can afford to stay in, which is wrong.

“The government should fund the university because if they do, some of the issues they have to deal with, like insecurities, will be controlled.

“It is because people are not given quality education due to the non condusive environment that make some of the youths to go into crime. Spend more on education and spend less on security but Government is not doing it as part.”

SSANU secretary who noted that Government has been approving things verbally without implementing them said “This is the first time in the whole history of university system especially since some of us joined, that it is heard that a union went on strike and their salaries were withheld without paying them back.

“When they withheld ASUU salary and ours, many people died because of the economic situation. We lost many professors and many of our staff died because they had health issues and were on medication. They couldn’t afford it and they had no options and died.

“This means that Government is killing people without weapons; using hardship to kill people without using arms. They are killing people and saying we should not cry. The government is not doing the right thing.

“We are already on strike for seven days and at the end of it, if the federal government fails again, we will go into indefinite strike,” he said.