The EKSU chapter of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on a sit-at-home strike over the non-payment of their three months salaries (August, September and October).
As the strike paralysed academic activities of the school, aggrieved students of the university quietly began beating their own war drum over the increment in tuition fees, coupled with the unwillingness of the management to conduct the students’ union election.
The aggrieved students called for the removal of the Vice Chancellor, Prof Aina. They accuse him of incompetence, anti-student policy and unnecessary delay of academic calendar.
In a closed door meeting held on November 4, 2014, the EKSU-ASUU declared an indefinite strike, citing concerns on unpaid salaries totaling three months. One of the lecturers who craved anonymity said, “We are not just owed three month salary, we have been owed allowances by the university under the leadership of Prof. Dipo Aina. We have been civil enough to enter into many deliberations with them but they don’t seem to understand that language of dialogue but strike. ASUU is truly sorry that a new session has to start this way but the management left us with no option. The students have just resumed and need to be in class already but how do you expect us to teach on empty stomach?”
One of the students, Ojekunle Niyi, said the election was supposed to have been held last semester but it was cancelled because they said we can’t conduct two elections in one academic session.
But some of the students told our reporter that the management was playing a fast game. They accused the school of increasing the school fees without any explanation.
One of the students’ union leaders said, “Our demand is sane and tactical, in other schools, the higher up you go in class, the lesser your school fee but here in EKSU, the higher you go, the higher the fee you pay. That’s pure extortion”. Another student who craved for anonymity said: “They said our tuition fee is N50,000 but they add many other levies to the tuition fee like medical bills (N5000), internet (N5000), sports (N7000), field trip (N10000 and it also varies). Students of Geology, Psychology and others pay for field trip even after it had been captured in the tuition fee.
Another student accused the management of anti-students’ policies, saying, “We are supposed to have an election this semester into all elective posts of the Students’ Union but the management said we can’t conduct an election because they don’t have a way to assert legitimate voters until 75% of students pay school fees. Which school in Nigeria does that?”“They don’t want a body that would agitate for the reduction of the fees and don’t forget, Ekiti has been at the centre of party politics in Nigeria since January. Ekiti State University is also on the radar. Our parents at home still believe the new governor would reduce the school fee and they are waiting for the fee slash before they send us the school fee. As a matter of fact, most parents still don’t know how much their children and wards are going to pay for this session”, one of the students explained.
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