The Governing Council of Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, has proscribed the four labour unions in the university.
The workers’ bodies are the Academic Staff Union of Universities; Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, Non-Academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions; and National Association of Academic Technologists.
According to Punch, The council also announced the immediate closure of the university and ordered students “to vacate the campus forthwith”.
A statement on Saturday by EKSU Head, Directorate of Information, Bode Olofinmuagun, titled, ‘Closure of the university’, said the action was “as a result of the continuous disruption of lawful activities on campus which have endangered lives and property in the last one week”.
He stated, “To guarantee peace and orderliness on campus, all the four unions are hereby proscribed with immediate effect”.
But the labour unions rejected the proscription, saying the state government, university council and management did not have such powers to proscribe unions, adding that the unions had reported the matter to their parents’ bodies.
ASUU EKSU Chairman, Dr Kayode Arogundade, said, “Government or management has powers to close down their school, but they have no such powers to proscribe any union. Even, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Edward Olanipekun, is aware of this. But we want to assure them that we are not deterred”.
Arogundade denied allegations that the unions stalled normal academic and non academic activities during the period of their protests which began on Monday, stressing that their actions were not violent.
The ASUU leader said, “They are owing us and we asked them to pay what they are owing among other demands. All they could do was to claim they don’t have all the money”, he said.
EKSU SSANU Chairman, Mr A Aguda, who corroborated his ASUU counterpart, said no one had unilateral powers to proscribe unions.
Aguda, in a ‘Press Statement’ in Ado Ekiti, said, “The Union is categorical about the minimum thing that can make us rescind our decision to seek permission from the national body for industrial action, the process we had since commenced since Monday 19th April 2021.
“They invited us to a meeting on Friday which ended in deadlock, as Council was insisting on government’s inability to meet with our demands immediately, while time table should be prepared on how to defray other outstanding.
“Unfortunately, few minutes later, the news that Council had decided to close down the University and proscribe the unions got to us, but they have no such powers,” the SSANU chairman said.
The four-week deadline given by the workers to the university council and management expired on Thursday.
The demands of university workers included payment of salaries arrears and emoluments.