The ongoing nationwide strike by trade unions in Nigerian universities has caused a row between the non academic staff of the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) and the Vice Chancellor, Professor Benjamin Ozumba.
The row was sparked by a threat by the non academic staff of UNN to stop rendering essentials services to the university, especially the supply of water and electricity.
Speaking with journalists at the Nsukka main campus of the university, the chairman of the Joint Action Committee of all the trade unions in the university, Mr. Paul Arua maintained that the ongoing nationwide strike of non-academic staff of universities is comprehensive and total In UNN until the federal government meets the demands of non-academic staff in the country.
“I am leading the enforcement team to ensure that no non-academic staff enters any office to work in UNN until government meets our demands and then, the national executive suspends the strike.
“As part of making the strike to be total in UNN, on Wednesday the enforcement team will make sure that electricity and water supply in UNN are shut-down by ensuring that our members manning these places stop work,” Arua said.
In swift reaction to the threat of non-academic staff of the university to shut-down electricity and water supply, the Vice-chancellor of UNN, Prof Benjamin Ozumba said what it means that leaders of non-academic staff in UNN have a hidden agenda.
“I know the non-academic staff of universities are on nationwide strike. I have not heard any university where the union shut-down electricity and water supply in campus, unless leaders of non-academic staff in UNN have hidden agenda and wants to hide under the ongoing nationwide strike of Non-academic staff to execute it,” he said.
“The strike has nothing to do in shutting down electricity and water supply in UNN,” Ozumba said.
Meanwhile, Arua advised students that have returned to go back home as non-academic staff currently on nationwide strike would not allow offices and classrooms to open for office work or lecture.
According to Arua, the best thing for the students is to go home until non-academic unions suspend their strike.
The trade unions that make up JAC are Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT)
Speaking on behalf of the unions, the JAC chairman maintained that lectures would not hold and by today, Wednesday, there will be no electricity and water supply in the university.