Staff lock school entrances, flog security officers

On Friday, 13th November, activities at the University of Calabar stalled when entrances in and out of the Universities were locked.

UNICAL building

On Friday, 13th November, activities at the University of Calabar stalled when entrances in and out of the University were locked.

This action was carried out by the local branch of the Joint Action Committee comprising Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, National Association of Academic Technologists and Non-Academic Staff Union.

The school's vice chancellor, Prof. James Epoke, disclosed that the Chief security officer was flogged in the early hours of the day.

When asked about the reason for this action by the JAC, one of its members said the workers were protesting the non-payment of earned allowances, off duty allowances for security staff and overtime for a period of over 10 months.

A lecturer at the school explained questioned the decision of the JAC.

He said, “I have been out here since morning and just came back at about 11am to see that the gate was locked. I am disappointed that I have had to stay out here without knowing what was wrong. I do not know what is happening.

“Why should they lock us out when most of us live on campus? They mean I cannot have access to my family? This is not the best way to pursue their grievances,” he said.

Another lecturer, clearly agitated by the incident said, “They are illiterates and that is why they locked the gates. If not, they should have known how to channel their grievances,” he shouted.

The Vice Chancellor of UNICAL, Prof. James Epoke, said it was wrong for the workers to take the laws into their hands by locking all entrances to the school.

“The workers did not tell you that the school management paid N15m to them just on Monday here. Most of them that were qualified to receive it have got theirs. The process is gradual.

“For the earned allowances, no Nigerian university has paid it as the Federal Government is still collating the matter.

“It is mischievous for them to lock the gate. What has the gate got to do with their grievances? They even flogged my chief security officer this morning. I am calling on the police to intervene,” Epoke said.

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