Strike: SSANU, NASU Disrupt Academic Activities In Unical

  • Clash with Students Union exco
  • Members sustain injuries
Students and security operatives at UNICAL main gate

BY UBON EKANEM, CALABAR – Normal academic activities were temporarily disrupted at the University of Calabar (UNICAL) following the nationwide warning strike embarked upon by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU).

Forefront News noticed that as early as 6 am, the University’s main gate, located on the popular Etta Agbo Road, was securely under lock and key to prevent any form of movement in and out of the 49 years old institution.

On visiting the School, our correspondent sighted a detachment of heavily armed policemen stationed at the main entrance, to prevent what an insider source claimed as a possible “break down of law and order”.

According to the sources, the strike on Campus was ordered by the two unions to draw attention to the non-payment of the 2022 four months withheld salaries which the Federal Government had earlier this year directed that the money be paid to members of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to the exclusion of others.

Insiders hinted that members of both Unions are angry over what they described as the discriminatory stand adopted by the government on the withheld salary payments issue.

So, an attempt by some of the Unions’ members to disrupt the skeletal academic activities that were ongoing resulted in a clash with Students Union Government (SUG) Executive members whose position remained that since the students have paid their fees, the strike action should not be allowed to interfere with normal academic work in the school.

Consequently, the refusal to shift grounds on positions already taken by both sides led to instant fisticuffs that left members from the two camps sustaining certain degree of injuries.

But for the timely intervention of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Florence Banku Obi, the situation would have further deteriorated and gone out of control.

Prof Obi addressing aggrieved students. Injured SUG President, Godsgift Akwo (bandaged right hand) and others listen.

Engaging the aggrieved students on the need to maintain peace on Campus, Prof Obi directed that all those who sustained injuries should report at University’s Medical Centre for immediate treatment.

She however cautioned the striking Unions to show restraint in their actions and ensure that the situation does not degenerate and result in the destruction of the University’s property.

The Vice Chancellor further reminded them to have it at the back of their mind that after the strike, they would still need somewhere to fall back on and earn a living.

Similarly, Prof Obi pleaded with the students to remain calm, assuring them that strike or no strike, their academic programmes would not suffer any form of setback.

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