The Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics has asked its members to proceed on an indefinite strike beginning on Monday over non-payment of July salaries.
The Chairman of ASUP in the state, Gboloromi Sunday, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, on Saturday, gave the directive as “a last resort to compel the government to heed to their demand.”
Sunday stated that although the 21-day ultimatum earlier given to the government was not over, the need for members of the union to collect their salaries should not be swept under the carpet. He added that the impending strike would be aborted on the condition that the government paid their salaries before Monday.
He said, “Early in the year, six state-owned tertiary institutions embarked on indefinite strike. Kogi State Polytechnic was in the front line to accede to the government’s request. We suspended the strike and resumed academic programmes even when some refused to bulge.
“Even when we reminded the government that the agreement we had with them to suspend the strike was not kept, we still continued with our work. It was when things got to a head that we recently issued a 21-day ultimatum to resume the strike or they hasten the process to meet the agreement.
“We were surprised when July salaries were being paid to our colleagues in other tertiary institutions across the state and our members were left out. When we enquired, we were told that the state had no money to pay us, even when all the civil servants in the state had collected theirs.”
He added that ASUP members in the state had exhausted all sources and that they were starving.
“We don’t have transport fares to go to work or tools to work with. Even primary things like stencils are not provided. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
“We urge Governor Yahaya Bello to immediately commence the payment of July salaries to our members in order to abort the impending strike that will once again paralyse the academic progression of our students,” the ASUP chairman said.