Several agitations from students have followed the shutdown of Osun-state owned tertiary institutions due to an indefinite strike declared by their academic staff over a month ago.
The staff of the institutions on August 7 declared a strike over issues bordering on the welfare of members.
The affected institutions are Osun State Polytechnic, Iree; Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke; Osun State College of Education in Ilesa and that of Ila-Orangun.
According to the staff under the aegis of Council of Academic Staff Union of Osun State Owned Tertiary Institutions (CASUOSTI), the unions demand the payment of arrears of their salaries and pension from July 2015 to date.
In an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the student union president of the Osun State polytechnic, Iree, Bolaji Olaniyi, explained how the industrial action has delayed resumption.
“I see no reason why the state government would not have met with the CASUOSTI state body to decide the fate of students and provide a lasting solution.
“Where two elephants fight, the grasses there suffer. We the students are the one at the receiving end.”
Mr. Olaniyi begged the state government to facilitate a meeting so as to negotiate with the workers.
Another final year student of Osun State College of Education, Ilesha, Ojo Oluwole, lamented the delay in the second semester examinations.
“I ought to have been done with my final examinations by now but the strike is delaying me,” he told PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr Oluwole condemned the unproductive response of the government as it has not summoned the workers for negotiations.
Also, in a letter obtained by PREMIUM TIMES last Friday, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Osun axis chairman, Abidoye Omololu, requested the urgent intervention of the state government to salvage the situation.
The Osun government recently announced the release of N19.8 billion to settle four months out of the workers and pensioners arrears owed by Governor Rauf Aregbesola-led administration.
The state commissioner for information, Adelani Baderinwa, when contacted, said the government is doing its best to address the strike by the lecturers.
“We didn’t close the institutions and we are not bringing any student in to this. We don’t know what their lecturers might have told the students.”
When asked if the government has began negotiations with the workers, he stated that there is yet to be any since the closure of the institutions a month ago.
“Well, we will get to that,” Mr. Baderinwa assured PREMIUM TIMES.
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