‘Why Police Took Over  Ekiti Federal Varsity’

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By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

The Vice Chancellor  of  the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Prof. Kayode Soremekun, has said he was not responsible for the heavy deployment of policemen on the campus since Tuesday .

Soremekun said the unruly behaviour of some protesting workers , who destabilised the campus for two days commencing from Monday, where they inflicted bodily injuries on some academic staff for not joining the strike in solidarity forced the Police Commissioner, Mr Wilson Inalegwu to order security beef  up to ensure protection  of lives and property.

Staff under the auspices of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-academic Staff Union(NASU), had  on Monday mobilised  their members for  a protest to demand  immediate payment of their  November and December salaries, among other unresolved issues.

The unions accused Soremekun of stalling attempt to effect promotion of workers, engaging in arbitrary contracts’ award, non-payment of hazard allowance, among other issues bordering on workers’ welfare.

Speaking in Ado Ekiti on Friday on the crisis rocking the university, Soremekun, said all the outstanding salaries had been paid, describing the inability of the workers to resume work as gross abuse of unionism.

“The police took over the gate and other strategic portion of the school because of the behaviour of some protesting  workers. Why should I deploy police to gag union leaders or arrest them?

“I have my background in human rights activism. I believe in  legitimate protest but not the one that would cause a breach of others’ rights. The police learnt the Chairman of ASUU was beaten by the protesting workers and the man escaped the scene and lodged a complaint with the police,  which prompted  security beef  up to prevent loss of lives”, he said.

 Begging the restive workers to allow peace to reign, the VC pointed

out that all the issues surrounding the non- remittance of

cooperatives deductions, which the unions alleged had accumulated up

to   a sum of N19m since December 2015, had been settled.

“They have all been paid. We are not owing any unit from 2015 to date

except the PAYE of Ekiti state for two months”, he clarified.