Academic and non-academic staff unions at the Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic Zaria, Kaduna State, have threatened to withdraw their services over the planned withdrawal of military and other security personnel guarding the college.
Mr Usman-Shehu Sulaiman, Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of the Polytechnics (ASUP), Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic chapter, disclosed this during a joint press conference by the unions in Zaria.
Sulaiman said the press conference was to inform the state government, parents and other key stakeholders on the security and other challenges hindering academic research and learning activities in the institution.
The chairman noted that on June 11, 2021, academic staff, their families and students were abducted at the school, adding that the abduction forced the state government to replace the school’s security guards with military personnel and some members of Kaduna State Vigilance Service.
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He said the military and vigilante personnel at the college were planning to leave the college over non-payment of their four months allowance.
“The withdrawal of service by the military at the school would put everybody at risk of abduction and other criminal acts. There are informants who will leak this development,” he said.
He said the school’s monthly overhead has not been paid since February, adding that the non-payment of the overhead made the school delay exams and result presentations, provide identity cards to students and weed control exercises among others.
The union leader said the school was on its 13th week of resumption and was supposed to have commenced examinations but due to the non-provision of the booklet, the examinations could not be held.
“We will issue a one-week ultimatum to the government to address payment of the backlog of allowances,” he said.
Malam Mahmud Aliyu-Kwarbai, chairman of the non-academic staff union of the polytechnic, said staff members live in constant fear of security breaches.
“We don’t have functional security in the school; our security was withdrawn and replaced by security personnel from Kaduna State Vigilance Service (KadVS).
“The KadVS personnel attached to the school had left their beat because of the non-payment of their allowances, which led to serious theft and vandalism of school properties,” Kwarbai said.
He added that the Single Treasury Account (TSA) policy of the government has jeopardised the smooth running of the institution as the college received an overhead once since January 2023.
Malam Abdullahi Shehu, the polytechnic’s Public Relations Officer, confirmed the development to newsmen, adding that the school management was working towards addressing the identified challenges.
He, however, said the rector, Dr Mohammed-Kabir Abdullahi, has now secured payment of the allowances for the military personnel at the school.