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.