AVERT ANOTHER STRIKE AT OOU!
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) condemns in strong terms gross irregularity in the salaries of the lecturers of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), the state owned institution over the past three years. The lecturers, whose several appeals to the All Progressive Congress (APC) led government of Ibikunle Amosu of Ogun state to correct the anomaly have been consistently ignored, in their hundreds embarked on a protest march on March 17, 2014 to press home their demands. The protest saw the lecturers trekking about 7km from the mini-campus to the permanent site, where they handed their protest letter to the Vice Chancellor for onward delivery to the governor.
This development portends grave danger to the smooth running of academic activities in the institution. This undoubtedly will have negative effects on the students, if the government continues to refuse to meet the just demands of the lecturers, who are poised for a strike action. This will again send the students, who just recently resumed after about 6 months at home due to ASUU national wide strike, out of school.
It is hypocritical for a government led by a party that claims to be ‘progressive’ to deprive workers of their legitimate wage! Besides, this is a government that has generated huge sum of money in the same institution from exorbitant fees and other numerous charges levied by the management. Yet, the university remains grossly underfunded, with concomitant effects of decayed facilities, and harsh learning environment. One of the worst in the country!
It is a similar situation in the state public primary and secondary schools, where consistent neglect over the years has left facilities not only inadequate but also in terrible conditions. Indeed, school teachers under the auspices of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) have already issued a notice of strike action over backlog of unpaid salaries and allowances; derelict infrastructure; overcrowded classrooms; lacks of teaching aids; harsh working conditions etc.
No doubt, attack on public education is clearly a policy thrust of the APC. This explains why the Lagos state government has now priced university education out of the reach of the children of the working class poor with outrageous fees at the Lagos State University (LASU). Osun state is not left out, where the state government owes teachers in the state owned tertiary institutions, backlog of unpaid salaries, which has led to strike by the teachers for many weeks.
These developments across the APC state have again vindicated the SPN which maintains that there is no difference between APC, PDP, and other capitalist ruling parties in the country as they all subscribed to neo-liberal capitalist policies of education commercialization; privatization of public assets, mass retrenchment of workers; and other anti poor policies.
The SPN therefore calls on all pro-working people organizations: NLC, TUC, JAF, ERC, etc to mount pressure on Governor Amosu to pay without delay all salaries and allowances due to tertiary, secondary and primary schools teachers in the Ogun state so as to avert another rounds of crisis in the education sector. We also demand adequate funding of education with democratic control of education workers, students and parents.
Eko John Nicholas
Ogun State Chapter