The vice chancellor of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Prof. Kayode Soremekun, has said that the unruly behaviour of the protesting workers of the institution could be responsible for the heavy deployment of policemen on the campus since Tuesday .
He said the rampaging staff, in the course of the protest which they had begun last Monday, had paralysed all activities on the campus and inflicted bodily injuries on some academic staff for not joining the strike in solidarity, which forced the Police Commissioner, Mr Wilson Inalegwu to order security beef up to ensure protection of lives and property.
Workers under the aegis of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-academic Staff Union (NASU) had on Monday mobilised their members for a protest to demand immediate payment of their November and December salaries, among other unresolved issues.
The unions accused the university management led by Soremekun of not effecting promotion which the workers are due for, engaging in arbitrary contracts’ award, non-payment of hazard allowance, among other issues bordering on workers’ welfare.
The vice chancellor, who spoke in Ado Ekiti on Friday, about the crisis rocking the university, disclosed that all the outstanding salaries have been paid, describing the inability of the workers to resume to work as gross abuse of unionism.
According to him, “The police took over the gate and other strategic portions of the school because of the behaviour of some protesting workers. Why should I deploy police to gag union leaders or arrest them?”
“I have my background in human rights activism. I believe in legitimate protest but not the one that would cause a breach of others’ rights. The police learnt the chairman of ASUU was beaten by the protesting workers and the man escaped the scene and lodged a complaint with the police, which prompted security beef up to prevent loss of lives”, he said.