OAU begs striking workers, dismisses resumption order

The Registrar of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Dotun Awoyemi, has appealed to striking workers of the institution to sheath their swords.

Awoyemi, during an interaction with our correspondent on Saturday, also stated that the university authorities could not ask students to resume while the protest was ongoing.

While debunking allegations that the students had been asked to resume, Awoyemi stated that several appeals made to the workers didn’t yield results.

The OAU authorities had shut down the institution on Wednesday and postponed the resumption of academic activities indefinitely.

The workers, under the aegis of the Non-academic Staff Union and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, OAU branches, had since June 6 embarked on continuous protests and strike over alleged irregularities in the appointment of Prof. Ayobami Salami as the new Vice Chancellor of the university, among others.

Awoyemi said, “We have made several appeals to them but they haven’t stopped. They didn’t also attend a meeting expected to hold between us and security agencies.  They keep claiming that they don’t intend to cause violence but they keep holding sticks and blocking roads.

“We cannot ask students to resume amidst protests. The environment is not conducive for learning. Everywhere is dirty and if we use contractors to clean the dirty places, the protesting workers will take sticks there again.

“We don’t want violence and it is not our wish to record any casualty. We are ready to dialogue for peace to reign and also plead with parents to join us in appealing to the workers.”