12 January 2018

Nigeria: UNN Non-Academic Staff Threaten to Shut Down Water, Electricity Supply

Nsukka — JOINT Action Committee, JAC, of trade unions in University of Nigeria Nsukka, has threatened to shut down electricity and water supply in the university.

JAC is made up of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, Non-academic Staff Union of Universities, NASU and National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT.

Mr Paul Arua, chairman of JAC in UNN told newsmen in Nsukka that the ongoing nationwide strike by non-academic staff of universities is comprehensive and total in UNN, until 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, then the national executive will suspend the strike.

"As part of making the strike to be total in UNN, the enforcement team will make sure that electricity and water supply are shut-down by ensuring that our members handling those places stop work," he said.

He 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 either office work or lectures.

"The best thing for the students is to go home till the non-academic staff union suspends it's strike, there will be no lecture, no electricity and water supply in the university," he said

When contacted, the chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU in UNN, Dr Ifeanyichukwu Abada said lecturers were ready to teach students since ASUU was not part of the strike.

"Students are welcomed back on campus and should prepare to receive lectures because lecturers will be coming to classes to teach, " he said.

In swift reaction to the threat of non-academic staff of the university to shut-down electricity and water supply on campus, the Vice-Chancellor of UNN, Prof Benjamin Ozumba, said the plan meant that leaders of the trade union have a hidden agenda.

He said: "I know non-academic staff of universities are on nationwide strike. I have not heard any university where the union shuts down electricity and water supply on campus unless leaders of non-academic staff in UNN have a hidden agenda and want to hide under the ongoing nationwide strike of non-academic staff to execute it.

"The strike has nothing to do with shutting down electricity and water supply in UNN."

It was gathered that lectures had started in some departments, while others were yet to start, as many offices were still under lock and key.

It would be recalled that UNN students were expected to resume academic activities on Monday January 8, 2018, after the yuletide's break.

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