Striking Research Workers threaten to storm Abuja in mass protest
Workers of Research Institutions across the country on Monday threatened to embark on a mass protest in Abuja if the Federal Government failed to meet the demands of the striking unions.
The workers are currently on strike to demand for the payment of about N9 billion arrears from the Federal Government.
The workers are made up of members of the the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, National Association of Academic Technologists and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities.
It would be recalled that the unions embarked on an indefinite nationwide strike on December 10, 2017 over the non-implementation of the agreement entered into with the Federal Government in 2010.
Peters Adeyemi, the Chairman, Joint Research and Allied Institutions Staff Union, while speaking at a news conference in Abuja, said government had refused to take any measure aimed at addressing their demands.
Adeyemi said though the government has acknowledged the legitimacy of the ongoing strike action, it needed to address the demands of the union.
He said: “The national leadership of JORAISU has so far held 33 meetings with the Federal Government and one with the House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, Colleges and Institutions between year 2010 and year 2018.
“We have also issued 155 days ultimatum to government on the matter, including the last issued on October 30, 2017 for which all the Research and Allied Institutions commenced an ongoing strike action on November 14, 2017.
“These were all geared towards getting the Federal Government to act positively on our demands and we are shocked that government can remain unconcerned and so insensitive to the situation.
“That is why all the Research and Allied Institutions in Nigeria have been totally and completely grounded for about two months and 22 days without addressing the situation.”
The Chairman added that the attitude of government confirms the fact that it does not believe in the ideology that Nigeria would attain technological development in a few years time.
Adeyemi noted that the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, has informed the unions that government would speedily address the issues in disputes.
He said: “That a Memo would be presented to the Federal Executive Council for the approval of about N9 billion required for the payment of the 12 months’ arrears when they held a meeting in December 2017.”
Adeyemi appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to take a positive look at the Memo and grant the needed approval when presented with a view to ending the ongoing strike.
He, however, said since the Federal Government was yet to meet their demands, the strike would continue.
“It must be total and comprehensive as no concession of any sort shall be granted to any management and government until the issues in dispute are resolved,” he added.