The striking non-teaching staff of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, under the aegis of Joint Action Committee, yesterday, disrupted Jamb mock examination that was scheduled to take place at the university.
The workers stormed the ICT centre of the institution en masse pulling the canopies erected for the purpose of the CBT down, and the candidates already seated had to run.
According to the Chairman of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, Ademola Oketunde, the disruption came up as a result of an infuriating statement credited to the university management.
“The exam must not hold,” he said. “We are ready to lay our lives for this struggle. What enraged us was the VC saying he will bring in the police to fight us.”
On arrival of police at the scene, the Area Commander, Funsho Adegboye addressed the angry workers and pleaded with them to show their grievances within the ambits of the law.
“We’ve been in dialogue with the CSO, the VC and other stakeholders. Nobody is happy with your plight, even the Vice Chancellor. The reason why I am here with my men is for peace. Let us carry out this struggle within the ambits of the law,” he pleaded.
Speaking later with journalists, Mr Oketunde said the main purpose for the total shut down was for the world to know that things are not in a good state in Nigerian universities.
He said, “We are shutting down even water. I live in staff quarters and if water becomes difficult to get, I will dig well. I’m from the village. We are fighting for our legitimate right and we won’t stop until we get to a logical conclusion. If they write the exam in the midnight, we will wake up to stop them. Government and universities management are stage managing reports in newspapers saying things are normal whereas, things are not.
“We are not only fighting injustice alone but also calling the government to prosecute all the people that are involved. The money paid was paid without passing through bursary and audit. It is a total fraud. Even if they give us what we asked for tomorrow, we are going to write a petition against the procedure. If you believe in Nigeria without fighting corruption, we won’t get anywhere and that is why here JAC in OAU is passionate about reducing corruption to the barest minimum.”
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