Thursday, 10 September 2020

Reasons why ASUU protested against Zana Akpagu-led mgt of University of Calabar

10 September 2020

Wednesday 9th September 2020 witnessed a peaceful protest by members of the academic staff of the University of Calabar, Calabar NEGROIDHAVEN can report authoritatively. 

The University of Calabar chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, protested over six years of non payment of local (financial) entitlements. 

In a protest made by hundreds of university lecturers from Main Camp section of the academic institution to the Main Gate, numerous placards were seen to read as follows: 'pay our entitlements', 'pay our CES arrears, pay our GSS arrears', 'pay our student fellowship, and conference attendance arrears', 'pay our graduate thesis supervision arrears', 'pay our pre-degree and sandwiche arrears', 'save our lives', 'our members are dying, save our lives', 'pay our promotion arrears', 'stop selective implementation of promotion, pay our promotion arrears', etc. 

The protest led by ASUU UNICAL  Chairman, Dr Edor Edor, proceeded to the administrative block of the institution where there was nobody from management to officially receive them. While addressing the press, Dr Edor observed that 'Our grievances are that for a number of years now members of ASUU, University of Calabar Chapter have been working and our entitlements have not been paid to us

'Such entitlements include the teaching of GSS Courses, Graduate Thesis Supervision Allowance, CES Courses, Sandwich programmes, Pre-degree and promotion arrears. Some of our members had been employed and they commenced payment of their salaries but a backlog of their salaries is left unpaid and that is what we call salary arrears.

'Even if the federal government has refused to pay our salaries what we have earned which is not one, two, or three but some are running into five, six years should be immediately paid to us.

'We have been asking for our entitlements for long but the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded our vagaries and vicissitudes.

'The lockdown has made it impossible for us to go and source for other legitimate means of livelihood to feed our families'. 

While mulling the idea of 'Operation occupy UNICAL', the ASUU Chief added that 'no kobo will be lost. The peaceful protest will end only when every arrear is paid. They should not wait for us to cry again before our entitlements are paid.'

The tenure of Prof. Zana Akpagu the incumbent Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar comes to an end Thursday 10th September as the Governing Council will select and appoint a new VC. 

Meanwhile, Dr Joseph Odok, a popular critic of Vice Chancellor Akpagu has this to say about the peaceful demonstration led by ASUU: 'The protest validates all my writings on the grand corruption in the University of Calabar. The University's administration turned Staff to paupers that live on monthly overdraft... Painfully members of University management are seen mismanaging Unical fund while Unical staff die in penury. They have enriched themselves at the expense of paying both teaching and non-teaching staff of the University of Calabar their entitlements ...

'The University had a tyrant Vice Chancellor that shut the mouth of staff.  Those who dared to talk were either intimidated or sacked from the University. ASUU can cry out now because the tenure of the outgoing Vice Chancellor is at the verge of completion', Odok alleged. 

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