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Strike: Workers halt college”s 2nd semester exams

Workers at College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, have paralysed academic activities in the institution as they down tools over unpaid eight month arrears of their salaries.…

Workers at College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, have paralysed academic activities in the institution as they down tools over unpaid eight month arrears of their salaries.

The staff, who began the action on Monday, continued on Tuesday accusing the Provost of the college, Prof. Mojisola Oyarekua, of "sitting" on their three months salaries which they claimed had been released by the state government to offset part of the arrears.

The action has disrupted the second semester examination that was supposed to start on Monday.

The aggrieved workers chanted solidarity songs, blocked the college’s main gate and prevented vehicles from going in and coming out of the campus.

Led by members of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and those of the College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), the workers accused Oyarekua, of allegedly "sitting" on their three months salaries they claimed was released by the state government to offset part of the arrears.

The protest on Monday lasted for about three hours during which the workers clashed with policemen.

The protest, however, assumed another dimension on Tuesday as the workers shut the gate and tied palm fronds on it, with many of them carrying placards and leaves.

Speaking with reporters during the protest, NASU Secretary, Mr. Wale
Animasaun, said the decision to carry out the action was reached at a congress held last Wednesday in which the college management was given up till last Friday to pay their salaries or face a mass action.

Animasaun clarified that the protest was not against the government of Governor Ayo Fayose but against the college management led by
Oyarekua.

He said: “The governor has released three months out of the salary
arrears owed us but the college management has refused to pay us. They used to give us net pay but they have even refused to pay anything."

In her reaction, the Provost, Mrs. Oyarekua, denied receipt of three months salaries from the state government, maintaining that the college authorities had not received any subvention from the state government.

She said: “The allegation (of holding on to three month salaries) is
not true. In fact, I am embarrassed by the allegation because we have not got any subvention from the government.

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